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The dilemma of an SLB 'delinquent'

Published:Thursday | January 28, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

I don't know what to do but I need to be heard. I am a 32-year-old young man who grew up in the ghetto of downtown Kingston. With the grace of God and self-determination, I managed to escape the corruption and negative influences to get where I am today.

I was not a brilliant scholar, but I persevered and, in 2004, was accepted by The University of Technology to pursue a degree in construction management. It was my dream to be an engineer, and construction was of major interest because of my previous experience in drafting.

While pursuing my education, I did not have any financial support and was selected out of thousands of applicants islandwide to received financial aid by the Students' Loan Bureau (SLB) to complete my studies.

No one could have predicted that the world's and Jamaica's economy and the construction industry would all take a drastic fall it had which started in 2008 right after I graduated. As a result, I have been unemployed since the end of 2008 and have not been successful in gaining employment since. Prior to this, I had been diligently making payments to the SLB, but since I became unemployed, I have not been able to do so. It has been requesting that I make payments without considering my pleas.


What must I do? I needed the help and it gave me and now that I have my degree, I would repay the bureau but I am without a job.

Some extra consideration needs to be given by the SLB to persons like me. I have pleaded my case in person at its head office in New Kingston, and it still insists that I should make monthly payments that exceeds my ability at this time. With thousands of others who have graduated and are also unemployed in a society that does not have the resources or opportunities necessary to ensure that its young professionals will have a chance. I implore those in power to look into these situations from all angles and make provisions to assist me and others who are facing this dilemma. Nothing coming in equals nothing going out.

I am, etc.,


university graduate