The Government has been receiving mixed reactions from young people on social media, to the announcement that the State will be seeking to recover funds from students who defaulted on the Government Assistance for Tertiary Education (GATE) contracts.
Some are commending the move, others are critical of it and some are questioning what measures are in place for those who are forced out of studies by circumstances beyond their control.
Here are some of the reactions we received online. We've opted only to use the first names given by those who posted these comments.
Aviana: I don't see the problem with repaying if you fail to complete your programme. Fair is fair. Back in 2008 I decided to switch the programme I was pursuing and before I could sign up for GATE funding again I was made to repay the tuition fees from my previous course before I was allowed to register for another through GATE.
Ryan: I am not paying back crap I already spend that money 2 carnivals ago. So we are in a dilemma.
Wendy: This gov't is not for the poor boi....sad..sad...ppl will suck salt & eat grass fuh d nx 4 yrs...lord help us!!!
Vall: Students should be serious with their education decision and be aware that there is consequences for dropping out or switching program. This will help students to stay focus. Educating is the key to success.
Jammette: good, get back we money, the gate program is not for limin at uwi
Ravi: It's about time those free loaders pay back !
Barry: Yikes Time to drop back in
Qi: Who is advising this government? Because I would've waited until after local gov't elections to make these changes. Or is it that they think they cannot lose?.....*looking on in amusement as the plot unfolds*
Jer: But wait wasnt this enforced already?...bc i know a relative of mibes who dropped out and had to pay back over 6000...so which means this has been in effect...for certain people i guess
Ricky: It is understood that if you get money for a program u have to be successful and meet certain standards I mean come on, so you get tax payers money to lime by gateboys, eat bbq and flink out and chill, nope somebody else news dat money
Vanessa: This has been going a few years now....... I know because I had to pay back some money for a previous program before I could start my degree in 2012 in order to get funding from GATE. So this is nothing new and it's been happening well over 4 years now.
Jason: some trainees in trade schools that are GATE-funded are hardly attending classes and GATE told the coordinators and managers numerous times to make the trainees come to classes and improve their attendance
Jesselle: I know this has been the case for some time, however some students were still slipping through the cracks... Proper measures should be implemented to ensure that this is certainly enforced! Too long of time we have been letting some students waste our tax dollars! Hopefully with the new structure of the programme, auditing should be a lot easier and students should be held accountable!
Alexander: I agree and I would also like to see the institutions themselves be held accountable for wastage on their part, especially those that randomly emerged and have never heard of the accreditation council of Trinidad and Tobago!
Kripal: I totally support this move to recover monies wasted on the slackers! It is downright unfair to worthy and deserving students to face the stigma of being looked upon as a burden. I hope, however, that incentives and scholarships will continue to be disbursed to those who truly deserve it.
Indira: I know of someone who comes from a single parent family who is pursuing a course in hrm but had to leave the program because her mother had a severe fall, there was no one to take care of her mom, so she left the program hoping to rejoin it she did make attempts to rejoin the program but was unsuccessful in meeting the department head despite many attempts what would a person in that position do will the government severely punish them for something that was or is beyond their control?
Feroza: How can dropouts repay funds if they have no jobs. This is rediculous. You should go after the co who received the funds
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