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The scholarship and the bond



You are bonded

The bonding policy of the Government of Jamaica applies to those who have received assistance through government for training to pursue undergraduate, postgraduate or other training, whether local or overseas.

As outlined on the scholarship information page of the Ministry of Finance website, http://www.mof.gov.jm/sau , such persons will sign agreements which oblige them to give service on completion of the award.

This loan is to be discharged through serving of a bond. The amount for which the borrower will be bonded covers the actual cost to Government of the training.

Persons will be bonded to work in the civil service in particular, public bodies in general or to accept employment elsewhere in Jamaica as specified in the particular letter of award.

Once an individual who receives an award begins the course of training, the cost of training is regarded as a loan and the individual as a borrower.
The bond is an agreement for service and persons who fail to comply will be deemed to have forfeited the agreement and are required to repay amounts in full or in part with interest as applicable.

The interest rate on defaulted agreements will be calculated annually and applied to the balance at simple interest. Failure to serve can also result in legal action to recover costs.

The determining factor for the period of service will be the cost of the training and the terms outlined in in sections 5.2 to 5.8 of the GOJ's bonding policy ( see website).

For loan amounts below $300,000 there is no bond. But, for $300,000 to $499,999, two years of service are required; and for $500,000 to $999,999, the requirement will be three years service.
For scholarships costing between $1,000,000 to $1. million, four years of service are required. For awards totalling $2 million and over five years of service will be required.

Good news for scholarship applicants is that internship and job-related training are regarded as service under
the bond.

This period of service, however, is to be credited only if the officer serves an additional period of not less than one year after the internship/training period.

Individuals who resume duties in the summer, while on the
course of training will have these periods credited as service towards the bond.

Borrowers whose obligation is to serve in the country are
obliged to advise the relevant Government entity of their
place of employment. Should the borrower change jobs
during the period of the bond, the relevant government entity
must also be advised of the change.

The bond policy notes that where a borrower intends to remain overseas or marries an individual who is obligated to serve in a country other than Jamaica, the borrower has an obligation to inform the Government of Jamaica and will also l be required to repay any moneys expended.

Interest rate on loans will be calculated on the average
commercial lending rate at the time of signing the loan agreement at simple interest.

Interest rates applicable to loans in foreign currency should
be at the prevailing US$ lending rate in Jamaica at the time
of signing the loan agreement.

The loan will have been deemed to be discharged when:
the borrower completes the period of obligatory service, or completes repayment of a forfeited agreement, if the borrower dies, or if the borrower is terminated on the basis of reorganisation or redundancy.

*avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com. Read more at http://www.mof.gov.jm/sau
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