Different views of the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme were shared on Straight Talk by FijiFirst candidate, Premila Kumar, NFP’s Seni Nabou and SODELPA’s Lynda Tabuya.
Premila Kumar has stressed that the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme was never introduced by any government previously and because of that, people could not access tertiary education.
Kumar highlighted this on Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan when questioned on FijiFirst’s stand on TELS.
She says that TELS allows people to get qualified.
Kumar says that for students who took TELS loan, when they start work, only 20 percent of their income can goes towards repayment.
She says if the child’s total combined family income per annum is more than $100,000, then the repayment has an interest of only 2%.
Kumar says this is nothing compared to what she had to pay for her children as she had to empty her FNPF to educate them.
Meanwhile, NFP’s candidate Seni Nabou highlighted that there are certain parts of the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme that are fine but they will rename it while SODELPA’s Lynda Tabuya says TELS burdens students.
Nabou says that they will increase the subject areas in TELS from 7 to 12 and change the name of TELS.
SODELPA’s Lynda Tabuya says a SODELPA government will convert all the TELS loans to scholarships.
Tabuya says that students are burdened when they are starting off with their career.
Tabuya says that the TELS students are blacklisted and can’t travel out of the country unless they can get a clear from Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Board, and this is a breach of the constitutional right of freedom of movement.
Meanwhile, the Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Board had earlier stated that any person under the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme is listed under the Immigration Controversial List and cannot travel overseas until they get a letter from TSLB.
$206 million has been allocated to TELS in this financial year expanding the reach of the program to over 25,000 students.
It was also announced in the 2018-2019 budget that TELS recipients that repay their loans more quickly under TELS are going to enjoy a major discount on their payment.
The Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had earlier stated that depending on how fast students can pay, they can have a 50% or 25% or 10% of student debt erased completely.
This means that the faster you pay your debt the less you pay overall.
Under TELS, the students whose parents who were receiving $25,000 and below were receiving allowance and now the threshold has been increased to $50,000. Bus fare allowance has also been increased from $15 a week to $30 a week.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.