UNC Youth Arm president Kaveesh Siewdial said a pre-action protocol letter will be sent to the Education Ministry on Friday on behalf of students on the verge of being, or who are already locked out of their courses at tertiary institutions, due to non-receipt of funds from bursaries awarded by Government.
Speaking during an Opposition media conference on Thursday, Siewdal said recipients of 2021 national bursaries were told on October 20, that their deadline for accepting the bursary was December 1, 2022.
They were asked to submit ID, proof of address, a guarantor, a university status letter, banking information, and a medical certificate of health, along with other documents.
He noted that recipients were told that the bursary would comprise the following payments:
• Medical scholars – A book allowance of $9,711 as first time payment and thereafter $5,711 payment annually.
• Non-medical – A book allowance of $8,062 as first time payment and thereafter $4,062 payment annually.
• A personal maintenance allowance of $3,043 per month, payable per quarter of the fiscal year i.e December, March, June and September.
• 100 per cent GATE funding for study at local institutions.
• Regional study would be subjected to the prevailing guidelines and funding levels for all GATE recipients.
“We are currently in January 2022, many tertiary institutions have now started their second semester and it is quite disheartening to know students are still waiting to receive stipends and funding. We have a situation where students and their parents are now being forced to pay for tuition fees because government has failed to deliver on their promise of taking care of these payments.
"Students are being locked out of their learning resources because they weren’t able to pay their fees on time. Minister of Education, where are students and their parents going to get these extra funds in times like these?"
He said that previous bursary awardees indicated they turned down the opportunity because of the constant runaround they faced. "Can the minister indicate why these delays are occurring in these payments for students, and what are the plans the ministry has to rectify this,” Siewdial asked.