A drowning man catches at a straw

With the International Labor Organization’s estimation of 25 million people becoming unemployed from the impact of COVID 19, most countries in the world prepared themselves to lend a helping hand to the unemployed. Each country had its own unemployment allowances in place to support the people through this difficult phase. Choosing the path of early retirement for certain valid reasons, I fell into the category of unemployed and am the recipient of Jobseeker payments on a fortnightly basis, which initially touched the $1250 mark became slashed to nearly $1000.

The payments, a life saver, made me curious about the unemployment allowances offered by other countries and was glad to learn that my country of origin, India, had something in place called the ‘Atal Beema Vyakti Kalyan Yojana’ an unemployment insurance available to those workers subscribed to  Employees State Insurance Scheme just as to the unemployed workers in the United States. Other countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands had partial unemployment benefits in place; however, countries like China assured a no termination of contract while the employees availed leave for illness etc. While Italy and Japan provided financial support to employees for teleworking, Ireland, Singapore, and Korea offered not only unemployment allowances to the workers who lost their jobs but also free medical care.

The readers of my blogs, would be aware of my attempts to gain a second tertiary qualification from Curtin University (Bentley) as a full time online student of Graduate Diploma of Information and Library Studies for  a career change from my previous blogs. I was able to achieve this because of the support given by Australian Government in the name of Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).

Browsing through a few links enlightened me that in India education loans were offered to students by leading banks with interest rates starting from 7.30% which they could finish with a period of fifteen years. While students struggle to pay debts in a few countries, students pursuing higher education in many other countries are debt free. It was interesting to learn that Denmark is providing their students full fees besides $500 for books per semester and $900 for living costs to those who are not living with parents. The students could access this stipend for a period of six years which is not cancelled if the student obtains part-time work. This sort of assistance was also provided by countries like Taiwan, Ireland, New Zealand, Brazil, Philippines, and Scotland. Turkish students must compete in a university entrance exam system to get private university education free if they manage to come within the top 100 ranks.

People in need are accessing these government support programs all over the world to achieve their dreams and stand on their own legs in the hope that tomorrow would be better than today.

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