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Minister of Education, Hon Andrew Holness, has disclosed that the Government is contemplating a savings programme to support Jamaicans pursuing tertiary education.
“We are setting up something called the National Education Trust Fund, and a part of that will be to manage a contributory payment scheme to help, in the future, when you are going to university,” he said.
He was addressing a PanCaribbean Bank scholarship luncheon at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, Thursday (September 24).
He stated that persons should think about financing their tertiary education, in much the same way they think about financing their home.
He shared his struggle to come up with the tuition for his university education, and said his experience would have been easier if his parents had saved for his higher education, or if the Government had in place a savings programme such as the one he is proposing.
“We tend to believe that we can consume tertiary education out of our current income; and tertiary education is expensive. We need to now consider tertiary education as the equivalent of purchasing a house,” the Education Minister said.
He noted that Jamaicans needed to start strategising about how they will finance tertiary education rather than depend on the Government. Mr. Holness also made it clear that the state’s obligations are to provide the mechanisms, policies and framework through which tertiary education can be provided.
He explained that the details of how the savings programme will operate are still being worked out by the Government.
Assistant Vice-President of Human resources at PanCaribbean, Faith McFarquhar-Gordon, said that each year the Bank donates $100,000 to each of 24 students attending either the UWI or UTech. The scholarships, which span two years, are available to Jamaican nationals entering their second year of a business-related study.
In addition to maintaining a 3.0 grade point average, participating in extra-curricular activities and demonstrating financial need, recipients have to commit to working in Jamaica for at least two years immediately after graduation.
Three hundred and eighty four Jamaicans have benefitted from the PanCaribbean Scholarship Fund over the last 16 years.

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