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Delinquent teachers now owe gov't $565 million in loans

Published:Friday | July 12, 2013 | 12:07 PM

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer



The amount of money owed to the Government by delinquent teachers who obtained loans to further their education has ballooned to over $500 million in the past year.




In written responses tabled in the Senate this morning, Leader of Government Business A.J Nicholson revealed that the amount owed by 114 teachers who have never paid on their loans jumped from over $290 million last year March to a little over $419 million at the end of March this year.



Meanwhile, the bill for 74 teachers who make inconsistent payments jumped from just over $99 million last year March to $146 million dollars in March this year, totaling $565 million.



Nicholson, who was responding to questions posed by Leader of Opposition business in the Senate, Arthur Williams, revealed that three of the teachers who have never paid and two of those who pay inconsistently are still in the Government service.



The issue was first raised in the report of the Auditor General's Department released earlier this year.



Nicholson said the Ministry of Education is taking legal action against delinquent teachers and guarantors to recover the sums owed.



Nicholson said the Ministry is setting up a bonding unit to ensure proper monitoring and compliance with the bonding arrangement entered in with teachers.



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