Grenadians who are desirous of pursuing online studies now have the opportunity to do so through an initiative introduced by the Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited.
The bank has partnered with the Florida-based Education For Advancement (EFA) in an effort to provide educational opportunities to Grenadians who want to pursue tertiary education distance programmes any where in the world from the comfort of their home.
As a means of providing the financial support, Co-op Bank has introduced a loan programme that is called “Higher Education Loan Plan” (HELP).
At the media launch last week Thursday, Co-op Bank’s Managing Director, Richard Duncan indicated that the alliance is just “another building block” of the bank’s customer relations strategy.
Co-op Bank is providing One hundred percent financing towards the cost of tuition, fees, books and any other online material to anyone needing to accessing HELP.
However, the amount one can be qualified for depends on his ability to service the debt.
Requirements needed in access HELP includes an acceptance letter from the school, and security.
Duncan said the alliance with EFA also represents a deliberate and definite move in contributing to the country’s socio-economic development.
In its quest to finance education at all levels, the bank’s Managing Director said the financial institution delivers a set of products and services that meet international best practices.
He recalled that in 2009, the bank crafted and launched HELP and that a $5m loan was secured from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) with the specific purpose of financing the programme.
According to Duncan, financing any post primary or post secondary programme of learning that leads to some form of certification is not just limited to academics.
He said that skilled programmes rank side by side with the standard traditional professional studies.
“So higher education for us is not just the traditional academic lines. The vocational lines also are common,” he added.
The Co-op Bank Managing Director impressed upon his audience the need to start looking at ways in which they can finance their children’s education.
He said that a small saving from the birth of a child on a monthly basis will result in them having to borrow far less when that child turns 20.
President of EFA, John Evans cited the need for countries like Grenada to be able to compete on a global level.
Evans said that in order to achieve that it is important that the work force is developed for that purpose.
He stressed that online education can now serve as a means of developing themselves, and be able to provide opportunities for more persons to learn.
“We are bringing the education to you. And you now have the opportunity through EFA to pursue everything from High School right through to Associates, Bachelors, and Masters Level,” he said.
Evans disclosed that EFA is already in partnership with learning institutions from Britain and the United States.