Tag: Caryn

first_img —————————————————————Post secondary education will be more affordable for Nova Scotia students after measures introduced in the provincial budget today, April 5. A total of $42.5 million is being invested this year to improve student assistance. “This budget makes life better for students and provides even more financial support for post-secondary education this year than in the past,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More. Tuition levels will be held below the national average through an ongoing, $30-million investment in student bursaries. This new, provincially funded commitment will provide a tuition reduction of $1,283 for all Nova Scotia students studying in the province and $261 for out-of-province students. Other benefits to students are provided through a $12.5-million investment in the province’s student assistance program. For the first time in the province’s history, a debt cap will place a ceiling on the amount of debt a student can carry. The debt cap is $28,560, a reduction of 36 per cent, or $16,320 in the amount of debt a student can accumulate. The amount of available grants has also increased. Students can now receive up to $612 in additional grants for a typical, 34 week program, through an increase in the grant-to-loan ratio, from 20 to 30 per cent. Other measures to make post-secondary education more affordable include: An average student graduating from a four year undergrad program in 2015 will receive increased grants of $2,448 and increased loan assistance of $1,360 over four years. “Post secondary education provides a tremendous advantage to the individual, their families and the economy and we’re committed to making it accessible,” said Ms. More. “We wanted to improve assistance to as many students as possible and I’m pleased to say that we’ve made considerable progress.” “All of the student assistance measures in this budget are good news for Nova Scotia students,” said Mark Coffin, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations. “It’s clear that the students with the highest need will be helped the most with this plan.” Premier Darrell Dexter announced that significant improvement in student assistance was a major goal for the province this year, after Tim O’Neil’s report and student representatives highlighted the fact that Nova Scotian students had the largest debt load in Canada. an increase of weekly maximum assistance rates from $150 to $160 per week double the in-study earnings exemption on student loads from $50 to $100 per week a 50 per cent increase in the book allowance, from $1,000 to $1,500 continuation of the Graduate Retention Program, which provides a tax credit of up to $15,000 to university graduates, and $7,500 for community college graduates, over six years LABOUR/ADVANCED EDUCATION–Budget Makes Historic Investment in Student Assistancelast_img read more

As per WFP’s most recent Cost of Diet Analysis, almost 6.8 million (33 per cent) Sri Lankans cannot afford the minimum cost of a nutritious diet and a large portion of this vulnerable population lives in poverty and is frequently subjected to extreme weather events. “Most of those living on these high-risk areas rely on agriculture and we need to see how to secure their livelihoods,” head of the disaster management centre, Kegalle district, tells SciDev.Net.The UN estimates that every year around 700,000 Sri Lankans are impacted by extreme weather, some repeatedly. “A sizeable segment of the flood affected population are squatters living in vulnerable areas prone to frequent flooding,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said following estimates made soon after the May floods and landslides.“We need to develop long-term solutions, not stop-gap answers,” says Yapa, agreeing that there were serious problems arising from erratic weather patterns in Sri Lanka in recent years. (Colombo Gazette) In May heavy rains, brought on by Cyclone Roanu, affected 340,000 persons in 22 of the island’s 25 districts. “These people have very limited coping mechanisms, and these kinds of disasters can drive them deeper into poverty,” says minister for disaster management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.After the landslides and rains the government decided to shift out those living in high-risk areas but, according to public officials, they were faced with the problems of locating safe land and making income from agriculture. Food shortages brought on by extreme weather events have resulted in almost a quarter of Sri Lanka’s 21 million people becoming malnourished, says a World Food Programme (WFP) document, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. “The increased frequency of natural disasters such as drought and flash floods further compounds food and nutrition insecurity,” says the document, the latest WFP country brief for Sri Lanka, released in June. read more