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Tertiary funding should go to course of national development

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2012

Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer



Education minister, Ronald Thwaites says his ministry is working with the Labour ministry to determine professions, which are critical to national development with a view to channelling tertiary funding to those areas.



With limited funds to cover the growing demand for tertiary education, it has been proposed that funding be shifted to courses of study which are more in line with the country’s development needs.



Responding to question at yesterday’s sitting of Parliament’s Standing Finance Committee, the education minister said moves were already being made in that direction.



He said his ministry in conjunction with the Labour Ministry and other relevant agencies is to look at a proposal to channel funding and grants to certain areas.



Thwaites said it is also being proposed that a similar approach be applied for the funding government provides to tertiary institutions.



Last month, Member of Parliament for North East St. Elizabeth, Raymond Pryce raised concern at Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee about the stalled implementation of a policy, to provide lower rates to Student Loan Bureau borrowers who pursue certain areas of study.



Pryce pointed out that then Prime Minister Bruce Golding had announced in March 2009 that the interest rates for some areas of study would be reduced from 12 per cent to four per cent, effective that year.



Golding had said the shift in policy was to address a shortage of personnel in critical areas.



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