Is this a much-needed strategic announcement, or not?
According to reports, on February 8, 2020, Robert Nesta Morgan, parliamentary secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office of Jamaica, announced that an incentive plan was in place or being developed to provide students with the opportunity to have their debts forgiven for public service work.
It is one of the best-imported policies to arrive on these shores in a long time.
Several countries around the world will occasionally introduce rules and regulations that are linked to another country. Some may not be appropriate for all cultural and traditional backgrounds.
Many developed countries share basic principles on how to approach similar problems that have been agreed upon. For example, consider the fight against drugs, crime, and environmental issues, or mitigating a health crisis such as a pandemic.
Although some copied policies worked as intended, other measures for moving a nation forward may not. It could be due to a lack of funds, technical skills, or other resources.
Furthermore, any government proposals that generate votes or increase community division across party lines may fail. However, this is not a comparative analysis point of view, but rather a much-needed attempt by the minister to provide students burdened with debt with a better future.
A previous opinion, “The Brain Drain of Caribbean Nurses,” raised concerns in the medical field about a lack of resources, patient safety, staff safety, job protection, wages, and leadership failure.
As a result, many experienced-well-trained nurses leave the region after receiving their nursing degree to work elsewhere, but overall student loan debt was a major motivator.
My phone rang a few times from friends I met while in the region, informing me that they had migrated with their families. “My wife works as a nurse,” he explained when I asked why he was on that side of town.
It’s far away, with only one major department store carrying everything; I miss home, but it will alleviate her financial burden.”
Theirs is one of many stories from the Caribbean region of people fleeing to Canada, England, the United States, and even other Caribbean islands.
This student loan proposal should be implemented beyond the party line and adopted by other impoverished and developing countries that do not currently offer this incentive. However, I will check back after the election is over to check on the status.
Many students on these shores will benefit from the elimination of loan burdens, which may alter their willingness to leave if an opportunity to migrate arises.
This trend depletes critical human capital that the country can use to maintain its standard of living.
However, it necessitates more than just likes on social media and genuine debate, accountability, affordability, and implementation with students at the decision table.
Perhaps it goes beyond politics.
Regardless of a political party, student loans enable many people to attend college, graduate, and obtain a degree, resulting in a more promising long-term future and overall economic stability for the country.
Though the proposal is a step in the right direction, it is unclear how it will be funded in the final details, which cannot be captured in a few tweets. However, as with other countries that participate in this program, there are requirements and commitments for individuals to be involved.
The expectation is that it will benefit everyone in the long run, rather than being used as a campaign talking point, as has been seen elsewhere, to generate votes on this platform.
Previous reports of free healthcare in the run-up to elections and other promises have surfaced, but it appears that many people are still waiting for bed space or free access to a much-needed medical screening.
The point is that many candidates for elected office will make promises, and in an attempt to demonstrate a different leadership style, some may over-promise and fail to deliver.
However, this is not about which part one should vote on, but about how this program may provide a solid foundation for upward mobility for students burdened by death and limited job prospects.
Because I have no political or financial interest in local politics, this goes beyond the social media outpourings, some of which appear to be more political for and against while interest rates on these debts remain high.
The reality of student loan debt
Evidence suggests that student debt jeopardizes the financial well-being of many households and the economy in the long run, not just in the Caribbean but in other countries as well.
This debt burden has also contributed to the wealth disparity between black and white people across the wealth distribution. According to other studies, roughly two out of every five households now have student debt, and the number is growing.
A person with approximately $45,000-53,000 in educational debt can result in a lifetime wealth loss of approximately $215,000.
According to academic experts, this has an impact on one’s retirement, long-term savings, and home equity.
In the United States, student debt has surpassed $1 trillion, and the delinquency rate has risen to more than 50%. According to these studies, the suicide rate in the United States has risen to its highest level in more than a decade.
I’m not sure if the majority of these suicides are entirely related, but others have noted a negative impact on people between the ages of 20 and 31.
Do some math before you apply.
Today, it appears that there are more financial advisors than clients, and having the right information is critical to making the best decisions for students.
I am not a financial advisor, but I have witnessed the impact of carrying a large student debt burden.
It can limit not only where you want to live, but also your overall outlook and flexibility to create wealth, as previously stated.
Understanding student loans, like financial literacy, is critical. It educates people on how to avoid predatory lending, unsolicited credit cards, and investment strategies.
Following up on re-payments to ensure they are forgiven on time, as other programs have been sued for denial after eligibility. But I’ll leave it to the local experts to raise awareness.
In the future, school officials should take responsibility and encourage students to take advantage of all available scholarships, grants, and aids before taking out loans, as well as career counseling to help them find work after graduation.
An understanding of the fine print can help you avoid problems in the future.
Household size, marital status, income levels, and employment status can all have an impact on these loans; thus, tailoring traditional loan repayments to this income base will be critical.
Students should understand how the symmetry between traditional banks and government loans will work, but for now, it is a significant step forward if created for the right reasons.
Furthermore, who will be eligible, what functions in government will be covered, and the government’s commitment regardless of which party is in power.
On many of these shores, your job security may be based on who is in power, even if you are not involved in decision-making and are simply a public servant.
Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, tweeted that she thinks this is a great idea worth exploring! 50% or 100%, 5 years or 10 years; Is the bi-national commission going to discuss police with forensic and cyber capabilities, critical care nurses, and teachers (especially STEM)? Or separately examined.”
I believe her conversation was extremely important, but it doesn’t change the fact that they use these loans for tuition, books and supplies, and ongoing expenses.
It is not one’s hope that this new loan forgiveness to one’s degree, but rather an incentive to attract and retain the best and brightest. It’s similar to a private corporation giving you a bonus stock option or a reward for your efforts.
This much-needed proposal, like the application, should not create additional social stratification in terms of which jobs are more important to consider.
Attracting and retaining the right workforce will be a win-win situation for the country’s economy. Civic service should be the common denominator.
Tyrone Brown, who ensures that your water is clean and that your trash is picked up on a daily basis, or Susie Brown, who processes your property tax on a daily basis, or Nadine, who went to school to study agriculture and is still paying off those loans.
Sadly, she became unemployed when her factory closed and shipped elsewhere, but she has always enjoyed cooking and now prepares your child’s lunch at primary school. They also do government work.
Your commitment is also essential.
Officials devised these loan incentives in order to compete with the private sector for the best and brightest. Your civil service career is unlikely to make you extremely wealthy, as these positions are frequently similar to being a law enforcement officer in a position of authority.
They must dedicate one who is physically and mentally fit, where pride and a sense of duty determine success or failure. It is a career that allows you to maintain a high standard of living while also providing a comfortable retirement package (hopefully).
Furthermore, before deciding on an academic institution to pursue your dream career, prospective students should have an open discussion with their families.
There are numerous stories in which retired parents are left to bear the burden of simply wanting to believe that their children have a chance at success, and one should not dismiss a good idea simply because one disagrees with the messenger’s ideology or party affiliation
For one thing, there has been a massive increase in government spending globally, but from the outside looking in, I hope this one is beyond Twitter and an incentive beyond votes because these students will benefit greatly long after many of these politicians have left their elected offices.
The only way to be certain is to hold them accountable, ask for evidence that their proposals have been implemented, and let them show you who the beneficiaries are while remaining focused on your career.
This is not the result of a single party’s victory or funding. This is a global issue, and you are not looking for a handout or to join a specific political party. It is simply some strings to hold up your boot while also giving back to your country or community, and in the end, everyone will benefit.