BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
THE National Training Unit (NTU) has been urged to quickly settle the book and establishment allowances for government-sponsored students in USP’s Laucala and Emalus campuses.
Solomon Islands Government (SIG) sponsored students studying at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva, Fiji, have questioned NTU why it is taking so long to settle these allowance payments.
Although they will be receiving their monthly allowance of $1040 this week, students have been finding difficulties to meet rental charges, laptop instalment payments and surviving for a month with the said amount.
This is according to concerned students during online correspondence with Island Sun last night.
The concerned students said since starting off the semester, only their monthly allowances have been used to meet all their education and living cost.
“New students should be given their establishment allowance at the beginning of the year to allow them to settle in well. And, book allowance should also be paid to students at the start of the year to cater for laptops, text books and other course materials, but that’s not the case,” a student voiced out.
“From the current experience, we have no choice but to use our normal monthly allowance for laptop instalment payment, rental and surviving here.”
Book allowance according to concerned SIG sponsored students is FJD$800 and establishment allowance for new students is around FJD$1500 to $1600.
“We want NTU through the Education Attaché here in Fiji to assure us when we will receive our book and establishment allowances for new students,” a student said.
SIG Education Attaché, Samantha Teitei Bob in an email to students confirmed that she has received confirmation over Telegraphic Transfer being made to the Fiji ANZ bank which means that actual funds will be credited into the Fiji Scholarship account today.
“Allowance will be posted to students’ personal account by Wednesday 9th May (tomorrow), 2018. The funds will be able to pay all students May allowance which means the equivalent amount for book allowance is still outstanding,” said the SIG Education Attaché.
“Students who took laptops will expect deduction from their allowances. Again for book allowance, we will have to wait for some funds to come through in order to administer payment,” the Attache’s email cites.
SIG sponsored students studying at Emalus Campus in Vanuatu have also raised their concern in not receiving any book or establishment allowances yet.
“They said the NTU had already raised these allowances to the Ministry of Finance in which we have not yet received anything,” said Emalus SIG students.