$600 Million Loan Fund for Teachers Becomes Effective on June 1


Come June 1, the island’s teachers will be able to draw down funds from a $600-million revolving loan, which has been set up by government to finance up to 90 per cent of the cost of their tertiary education. Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry Wilson, who launched the fund yesterday (May 9) at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, said that the aim is to promote professional development among the more than 20,000 teachers in the public sector.
“It’s now up to the eligible teachers to grasp the opportunity that is before them,” she stated. The fund will be administrated by Capital and Credit Merchant Bank (CCMB), which has pledged some $100 million to the initiative, with government providing the remaining $500 million. President and Chief Executive Officer of CCMB, Curtis Martin, informed that the loans will be granted on the basis of good credit report and the applicant’s ability to repay. “Maximum financing would not exceed 90 per cent of the cost for part time students and 50 per cent for persons on paid study leave,” he said.
“Interest rates on the loan will be 7.75 per cent on the reducing balance, one of the lowest rates currently available and the preferred method of repayment would be by salary deduction. Where that is not available alternate arrangements would have to be made,” he added.
The move to establish the loan fund for teachers came out of the 2004 National Task Force on Education report, which recommended that all teachers must be certified up to the tertiary level and forms part of the government’s initiative now underway to transform and modernize the education sector.

JIS Social