I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the officials of the Ministry of Education who are responsible for the approval and processing of tuition fees.  Like many students, I was given a letter  (Nov 2009) promising a renewable specified amount towards my studies providing I maintain satisfactory grades.  To date, no payment has been made.

My prime concern is not the non-payment of fees but the failure by the Ministry to maintain communication and to show concern.

From last year May to now, I sent several emails of which only three were responded to. Calls were also made to an official at the Ministry who responded like she was not interested in anything that I had to say.

When I sought an explanation as to why fees were not paid, all she said was, “Oh we don’t have money.”   Additionally, the same official did not respond to emails sent to her by the University requesting that an updated letter confirming its commitment be prepared and faxed/emailed.

To compound the matter, I requested from the Ministry of Education the two percent education loan since it was having problems making prompt payment.  I was told to apply and I was denied the loan.  Yes I was denied the loan!!!

This therefore leaves me to wonder what is really going on in the Ministry of Education.  Isn’t the budget reviewed each year so that the Ministry would be able to commit to its expenses based on monies allocated to it?  Or are fees being paid for friends of friends while others are left behind? Is there lack of communication within that department because while one person says next month the other says she does not know when? Or is there a controversy between the Prime Minister’s vision for a graduate in every household and the officials who work at the Ministry of Education?  Clearly there is some disconnection between the two.

Some persons may say why depend on the Ministry of Education instead of taking a loan. Well, let me say that we all try to make use of the opportunities and avenues which are available to us.  While there are those who have the collateral to obtain funding for their studies, some of us need assistance.  Many students send in letters seeking assistance but we do not force the government to assist us.  If it can’t, then it should be frank and say NO.  There should not be any promises made which violates the principle of promissory estoppel.

I am therefore calling on the Ministry of Education and the Government of Dominica to show concern for the students who are sent abroad on the promise that their fees will be taken care of.

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