Parliament rejects MDP’s emergency motion on student loan payments

08 Jul 2024 | 12:45
South Hithadhoo MP Nazil (Photo/Parliament)

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) proposed an emergency motion in parliament today, accusing the government of failing to deposit funds for students studying abroad under the student loan scheme.

The motion, moved by Hithadhoo South MP Ibrahim Nazil, was rejected, with 59 members voting against and only 12 members in favor.

MP Nazil criticized the current administration for neglecting the students, stating that the previous MDP government had provided free degree opportunities for over 10,000 students to pursue higher education.

He alleged that the current government has not paid the course fees for students abroad, leading to severe consequences such as students being threatened and blacklisted by their colleges and universities.

The situation has deteriorated to the point where students are being threatened and blacklisted by their institutions due to the government’s failure to deposit the necessary funds

Said MP Nazil 

 He further highlighted the financial hardships faced by students, including the threat of eviction due to unpaid rent. 

Many students are being asked to vacate their residences, facing the risk of homelessness abroad, and struggling to afford daily expenses.

MP nazil emphasized

Nazil also accused the curret administration of misusing state funds for decorating government officials’ homes and offices, rather than supporting the students in need.

Addressing the issue, Minister of Higher Education, Labour and Skills Development Dr. Mariyam Mariya gave information to media and acknowledged delays in depositing money for students.

She attributed the delays to the lack of available US dollars.

The Bank of Maldives (BML) had earlier amended regulations, limiting the purchase of USD 1,000 for Maldivian students abroad and issuing stipends according to the Ministry of Higher Education’s set amounts.

The Ministry of Higher Education allocates different stipend amounts depending on the country, with students in Malaysia receiving $416, those in India $440, and those in Sri Lanka $450.

The current delays have left many students in precarious financial situations, further exacerbating their challenges abroad.