President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that he will find a solution to the difficulties faced by some individuals in repaying high-interest loans taken for higher education.
While delivering the presidential address at the opening of the parliament for this year, the President said that even though his administration introduced the free degree programme, there are concerns from students who took high-interest loans in the past.
"There are still concerns from students who have taken student loans in the past. In the future, I will work to alleviate all such burdens on productive, strong, and responsible youth," he said.
He emphasised that his administration had already restructured loan programmes to reduce the burden on students. He also mentioned that a solution would be found for the past students, among other changes to be brought to the education sector.
These individuals complain that after graduation, their salaries do not meet the high repayment amount. For many people who have graduated and started their lives, the inability to repay their loans is a major concern.
President Solih said the nation's most precious resource is its young, educated workforce. In this regard, he said that the free degree programme is an important foundation for the creation of a productive new generation.
"That concern no longer exists. Free education up to the first degree is available to every young person today. To date, 16,315 students have enrolled in the government's free degree programme. More than 6,500 students have graduated," President Solih said.
He said the government has granted student loans to 1,986 students so far. To alleviate the burden of these loans, the state has restructured the student loan and reduced the administrative fees from 5 percent to 1 percent.
"We have extended the loan repayment to 20 years. With this change, the previous payments made at higher rates will be deducted from the total loan amount. And the monthly repayment made by students will now be less," he said.