RE: Join us in supporting a real actionable economic stimulus and jobs plan for Jamaica – a demand for a student loan forgiveness programme in Jamaica!
The Most Hon. Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica | The Hon. Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service | The Hon. Fayval Williams, Minister of Education, Youth and Information | Ms. Monica Brown, Executive Director – Students’ Loan Bureau | Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett, Chairman Hon. Fayval Williams | The Hon. Robert Nesta Morgan, Minister of State Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
The Total outstanding student loan debt in Jamaica is expected to exceed J$53.13 billion for the 2020/2021 financial year. Over 147,000 hardworking, taxpaying, educated Jamaicans are being crushed under the weight of their educational debts, while the economy and debt-to-GDP ratio continues to deteriorate.
Join ScholarshipJamaica.com and support a REAL ACTIONABLE economic stimulus and jobs plan. Support STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS IN JAMAICA – #SLFJamaica!
We are calling on the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness and the Minister of Finance, Hon. Nigel Clarke to immediately table a student loan forgiveness bill in parliament with plans to implement during this public health and economic crisis.
In short, student loan debt has become the fastest growing financial crisis in Jamaica. If we do absolutely nothing, the entire economy will eventually come crashing down again- just as it did in the 1990’s when FINSAC occurred.
The ever-growing debt crisis has put Jamaica on an unsustainable course towards financial oblivion and brain-drain.
Jamaicans are all living through an unprecedented worldwide health and economic emergency due to the coronavirus. In the face of this uncertainty, many students and pass students are feeling overwhelm and fearful. Fears about employment, compensation, safety, health, caretaking, debt, housing, and food require immediate attention.
An estimated 147,000 Jamaican students struggle every day under a burden of insurmountable Students’ Loan Bureau – loan debt. We are asking the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to define and establish a student loan forgiveness programme with immediate effect.
This loan forgiveness programme will cancel, reduce or postpone some of the estimated J$53 billion student loan bill held by the Students’ Loan Bureau.
We request that the Minister of Finance Includes this debt cancelation programme as part of the next economic stimulus package to address the coronavirus crisis in Jamaica.
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We are equipped with tested strategic debt forgiveness alternatives that will be based on the applicants’ loan payment history, field of study and bonding requirements to name a few. These inputs will assist to fast-tract a student debt forgiveness programme definition and implementation in the shortest time possible.
Adding the persistent burden of student debt is a recipe for brain-drain, poverty, stress and an economic disaster for thousands of everyday Jamaicans. Labor shocks like those the pandemic are causing will undoubtedly increase student loan defaults and economic burden.
We also call on lawmakers to immediately stop these Asset Recovering Sharks from antagonizing and making hard working-and-trying graduates and their families’ lives a hell. This will only create strife and violence.
As the honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey quoted “hungry men have no respect for law, authority or human life.”
Reduce Student Loan debt and Stimulate the Jamaican Economy
Student Loan Forgiveness, loan canceling or student debt repayment delay in response to the COVID-19 will help the estimated 147,000 Jamaican students and graduates with active and default student loans in Jamaica and stimulate the economy when it is needed the most.
In the long term, a student loan forgiveness stimulus package would help prevent or reduce the impacts of an upcoming worldwide recession. Student debt forgiveness and/or cancellation can boost GDP by up to J$12-$17 billion a year and would help to achieve our debt-to-GDP ratio of approximately 60 per cent by March 2027/2028.
Additionally, reducing student loan debt will effectively reduce the expected 2020/2021 debt-servicing cost of J$7.9 billion required by the Student Loan Bureau. Other advantages to a student loan forgiveness programme includes but not limited to:
[ ] Increase enrollment in targeted field of study
[ ] Recruitment of the most talented and educated workforce
[ ] Increase innovation and economic excellence
[ ] Increase individual income
[ ] Reduction in skilled workers’ mass migration – brain-drain – especially nurses, teachers, engineers, scientific researchers, early childhood developers, Doctors, Law professionals, International Health & Tropical Medicine, Climate Change: Environment, Science & Policy Public Administration in International Development, and Public Health to name a few.
Freeze Student Loan Collections During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We need our Member of Parliaments, Senators, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and our Minister of Finance Hon. Nigel Clarke to freeze all student debt payments and stop all collections, liens and wage garnishment for public and private student loans until a decision is made on a student loan forgiveness programme.
We need our political leaders and head of state to immediately pass a Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights to provide protections and guidance for student borrowers in time of distress – such as this coronavirus pandemic.
Proposed types of Forgiveness Programmes
[ ] Teacher Loan Forgiveness
[ ] Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
[ ] Law & Order (police & Military) Service
[ ] Border Protection Loan Forgiveness (Immigration and Customs)
[ ] Nurses and Allied Health Workers Loan Forgiveness
[ ] Specialist Medical Doctors Loan Forgiveness
[ ] Total and Permanent Disability Discharge