Wed | Aug 23, 2017

UWI principal cautions gov't about footing exam fees for delinquent sudents

Published:Tuesday | May 2, 2017 | 5:43 PM
Professor Archibald McDonald says he supports the assistance, but says it’s a building block for free tuition, which Jamaica cannot afford at this time. – File Photo

The principal of the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) has declared that the Government’s intervention to help financially challenged students sit exams could be setting a bad precedent if it does not work out a sustainable mechanism.

Professor Archibald McDonald says he supports the assistance, but says it’s a building block for free tuition, which Jamaica cannot afford at this time.

He says the education ministry needs to decide whether it can afford that level of funding.

The Government has provided $45 million to cover the outstanding balance for final-year students who have been allowed to sit their final exams this month, after the university and the education minister brokered an agreement.

The education minister, Senator Ruel Reid, told journalists yesterday that 339 students owed the $45 million.

Some 225 of that number owed less than $100,000 each, which amounts to $9 million.

They will get assistance from the Government's volunteering and values and attitude programme (JAMVAT).

The remaining 114 students, who owe more than $100,000 each, will get fast-tracked loans from the Students' Loan Bureau.