GTT's $18M Innov8 Fund to aid STEM Guyana, University of Guyana
An GY$18 million innovative fund established by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) will be pumped into the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme locally and the University of Guyana (UG).
The announcement was made earlier Monday by the telephone giant during a press conference to promote its upcoming Innov8 Expo and Business forum to be held later this month.
GTT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Nedd reported that of the earmarked amount, some GY$8M will go towards supporting strategic initiatives of STEM, while UG will be gifted GY$3M for its various programmes. Nedd’s vision is to be able to collaborate with businesses to pump at least GY$200M into the area of technology, annually. This will, especially, he stated, “afford children the opportunity of being part of a grand and ever-changing global experience.”
Part of GTT’s Innov8 plan is to also provide free internet service to every primary school across Guyana. “Its about time our children are supported and given the tools that they need to push Guyana forward”, the CEO was quoted as saying by government’s Department of Public Information.
Nedd said Guyana is on to “something big” where technology is concerned and it is his belief that it is time that businesses and educators collaborate to move the country forward.
UG’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr. Paloma Mohammed said that the contribution from GTT, will be used for a study conference slated for May, fund students attending a global innovative club in July, and a public conference.
STEM Guyana’s Colin Sawh explained that the money will be used for a number of youth projects.
The Innov8 business summit and expo will be held on March 24 and 25th. According to Nedd, the event will demonstrate what technology can do for Guyana and how the telephone company is supporting this technology. This event will be opened to the public with no cost attached.
A special forum will be held on the 27th, for businesses and leaders in technology.
Innov8 Summit Launch Press ConferencePosted by GTT on Monday, March 5, 2018
UG, GTT ink Mobile Money app pact
The University of Guyana (UG) and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT), after launching Money Mobile Guyana (MMG) last month for students to make easy tuition payments, on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to solidify the deal.
Last month, the Ministry of Finance, GTT and UG launched a new payment plan that would be convenient for students to pay their tuition fees on their cellphones via the MMG application. On Friday, UG Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith and GTT CEO Justin Nedd met to formally sign the MMG agreement that would benefit both international and local students at the university.
Speaking at the event, Griffith noted that the new payment system would be beneficial to the some 8,000-plus students who attend the institution. It was confirmed that 60 percent of the student population on the university make cash payments annually, and this new payment system is aimed at helping them make the process easier. Griffith also mentioned how convenient the new system will be for international students who return to their homes after a semester break, as they will not need to travel back to pay their fees.
The professor said that apart from the convenience for their students, it is also useful for the Bursary Department of the university. He noted that the MMG app, allows the Bursary to make a quicker turnaround to process student registration among other things, enhancing service delivery. “One of the central reasons that any university exists is to serve the main constituency which is the students and part of what we intend as the university to do is to enhance the nature, scope and significance of service to our students,” Griffith added.
He also mentioned that what was captured in the agreement is that the partnership with GTT is to have other tangible elements to it, which will enable GTT to give to UG and its students additional benefits that will go to sports, medical services and other areas.
Meanwhile, University of Guyana Student Society President Ron Glasgow said that the student population would appreciate the new payment avenue provided by GTT and the university. While noting the significance of the MMG app, he described its service as “up to date, quick and convenient,” noting that the old process of standing in a line to make payments was “primitive.”
Nedd said that apart from students paying tuition fees, they can also pay graduation fees, registration fees, summer registration fees, and any other additional fees that students are required to pay. Students are required to download the MMG app to start, enter their UG registration number, the amount they wish to pay and press send. A service fee of $100 would be attached to each transaction. Students can pay a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $60,000 in one go, however a student can pay $100,000 per day in their transactions to the university via the MMG app.
Article adapted from: https://www.stabroeknews.com/2017/news/stories/07/17/ug-gtt-ink-mobile-money-app-pact/
UG & GTT sign MOU for students to pay fees via MMG app
University of Guyana (UG) students can now pay their dormitory, application, general and graduation fees using the Guyana Telephone Telegraph (GTT) Mobile Money application. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today, between UG and GTT is a new initiative to improve services, Vice Chancellor(VC) and Principal of the University, Ivelaw Griffith said. Professor Griffith added that there are a number of benefits to this new initiative. He explained that the service is a convenience factor for the student. Additionally, there is the benefit of financial savings for students who have to travel to pay tuition fees, which has a transportation cost attached.
The VC said that with the university’s increasing overseas population, the service is a timely one. He highlighted that 60 percent of current students at the University are cash paying students. GTT’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Nedd said, all current and past students have to do to repay their tuition loans is to enter their UG registration number, the amount they would like to pay and press send after the application would have been downloaded from thee Goggle Play Applications Store. “It is easy as 1, 2, 3,” Nedd added. The University of Guyana continues to launch and implement a number of initiatives to improve and enhance the quality of education and services offered.
Article adapted from: http://gina.gov.gy/ug-gtt-sign-mou-for-students-to-pay-fees-via-mmg-app/
Few UG student loan borrowers repaying under Jubilee offer
A less than satisfactory number of University of Guyana (UG) students and former students have taken advantage of the Independence Jubilee reduced tuition fee repayments, resulting in the Guyana government being still saddled with a huge number of outstanding student loans, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said Monday.
Addressing the launch of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph’s (GT&T) Mobile Money Guyana (MMG) system that will allow the repayment of student loans by cellular phones, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said of the nearly GYD$10 billion worth of 28,936 loans issued so far since 1994, 20,301 are delinquent.
Jordan said despite the “substantial rebates” offered to graduates in Guyana and overseas last year as part of Guyana’s 50th Independence anniversary celebration, few did not take advantage of the opportunity to clear, update their debts.
“I don’t think there has been a significant dent to what I gave at the last time….There was some exuberance at the offer but it didn’t get the kind of response that we were hoping for where a significant dent would have been made. We did get some money in but it’s not significant to what is owing,” he said.
Before signing the MMG agreement, GT&T’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Nedd said all current and past students have to do to repay their tuition loans is to enter their UG registration number, the amount they would like to pay and press send.
The Finance Minister welcomed the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph’s extension of the “fast and secure” Mobile Money Guyana system to offer past and continuing students a new option to repay their loans. Jordan announced that, “very soon borrowers from abroad will be able to make payments online as we are in talks with GT&T and Western Union.
The Finance Minister warned that if the loans are not repaid and the student loan system does not revolve, government would have to examine “other methods which unfortunately will not be to the benefit of those said people who want to come to university.”
Figures dating back to last year show that since the inception of the Student Loan Agency in 1994, at least GYD$9.5 billion were made available to the revolving agency to facilitate the payment of tuition fees. Up to May, 2016 figures show that 26,239 loans had been issued but repayment up the same period had amounted to GYD$1.75 billion, with installments due amounting to GYD$5.7 billion.
The Jubilee offer had entailed a 75 percent reduction in the accumulated arrears of interest if borrowers had paid their indebtedness no later than August 31, 2016 or a 50 percent reduction in accumulated arrears of interest if borrowers had brought their accounts up to date by September 30, 2016.
At the Ministry of Finance’s Student Loan Office, Jordan said there are a new director, new administrative manager and more loan officers. Other plans include the appointment of more loan officers, a lawyer and an accountant as well as the introduction of a new computerized system “to replace the ancient technology currently in place.” The Finance Minister added that the “massive reforms” to ensure that funding is available to future borrowers include the refinement of the criteria for qualification and guaranteeing of loans.
“The recalcitrance and disinterest that is inherent in the unacceptably large delinquent portfolio must be halted. Students, graduates and guarantors have to work together to reverse this situation. The government has shown its willingness to be engaged and has already provided the first steps,” said Jordan.
UG Students can now repay loans using MMG App
The Ministry of Finance has partnered with the University of Guyana and the GuyanaTelephone and Telegraph Company to offer current and former students, an easier option to repay their student loans. The partnership is described by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan as another in a series of initiatives, to have students repay their debts in a fast and secure manner.
The Minister noted that during the Jubilee Independence Anniversary celebrations, several options were put in place to have errant loan defaulters repay their debts. He said it was regrettable that many did not take advantage of the offer. This has resulted in the Government being left with a huge number of outstanding student loans, he explained.
At the launching of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph’s (GT&T) Mobile Money Guyana (MMG) system that will allow the repayment of student loans by cellular phones, the Finance Minister said that approximately G$10 billion worth of 28,936 loans issued since 1994, 20, 301, remain outstanding. He is hopeful that loan defaulters would take advantage of the new payment option.
He stated, “I don’t think there has been a significant dent to what I gave at the last time….There was some exuberance at the offer but it didn’t get the kind of response that we were hoping for where a significant dent would have been made. We did get some money in but it’s not significant to what is owing.”
The Jubilee Offer gave defaulters a 75 per cent reduction in the accumulated arrears of interest if they had paid their indebtedness, no later than August 31, 2016 or a 50 percent reduction in accumulated arrears of interest if borrowers had brought their accounts up to date by September 30, 2016.
The Finance Minister says he is currently working with Western Union to facilitate payments for those former students residing overseas and this will be launched soon. The criteria for issuing loans and potential guarantors, is also being restructured, so as to facilitate easier payments.
The MMG agreement was described as a very simple process by GT&T’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Nedd. He explained that, “All current and past students have to do to repay their tuition loans is to enter their UG registration number, the amount they would like to pay and press send. The new option adds to the facility already being used by thousands to pay various utility bills. The GTT CEO described the new plan as just one of the many ways the company is using technology to improve the lives of Guyanese. The Mobile Money Guyana Application, is also in keeping, with a call by President David Granger, to use technology to extend the reach of financial services to underserved and un-served communities.
Among those present at today’s event were Minister within the Ministry of Finance Jaipaul Sharma, University of Guyana Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith and staffers of UG and GTT.
Article adapted from: http://gina.gov.gy/ug-students-can-now-repay-loans-using-mmg-app/
- The University of Guyana