Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter KINGSTON, Jamaica: Tertiary students who rely on the Students' Loan Bureau (SLB) have been allowed to remain in classes for the first semester as the Government seeks to find alternative funding arrangements for the lending agency.
Universities and colleges including the University of the West Indies, Mona and the University of Technology had warned that students would be deregistered if they fail to pay their fees by the end of September.
However, the SLB is facing a billion-dollar gap in its budget to cover tuition loans to students for the current academic year.
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites says the committee set up to find funding sources is still hard at work.
He says in the interim, an agreement was reached with universities and colleges for students to be given until the end of the current semester in December to settle outstanding fees.
The education minister says while the Government is working to ensure that more Jamaicans have access to tertiary education, students and parents are being urged to exercise greater personal responsibility.
In recent times, there have been renewed calls for the Government to set up an Education Trust Fund as part of measures to help more Jamaicans access tertiary education.
It has been proposed that the Fund would operate like the National Housing Trust whereby persons would contribute and draw on their contributions in the future to cover school expenses.