By Alfred Sasako
WE have truly entered into a new territory, which gives our young people little hope for the future.
At a time when our young people should be up on their feet looking for new opportunities, their hopes have been dashed. There are no funds for scholarships.
Many young people, who have worked so hard throughout the year in the hope of starting a new beginning, have been told in no uncertain terms that their names were not on the list.
Not because they did not make it academically. No. In fact many have got good marks, but because they knew no one in the system, they were largely overlooked.
How can government overlook school fees each year? Take for example in 2016 the DCC Government allocated some $300, 000 in Constituency Scholarship to each MP.
The following year (2017) the DCC government allocated some $350, 000 to each of the 50 Constituencies. No one knows how much was given to Constituencies this year. This raises a lot of questions – questions such as where did the money go?
This year there’s a change to the allocation of scholarships. Whereas MPs were in control in past years in terms of how many students would be nominated by MPs for scholarships, this year there’s only 8 scholarships per constituency – four to be taken at SINU and perhaps the USP campus in Honiara and the other four to be taken offshore.
It is a drop in the bucket
But hang on. How can we ignore the plight of so many of our young people? They worked so hard as were their parents in the hope of making it through. Unfortunately, the hopes of many were dashed when they found out their names were not on the scholarship list.
How can we ignore their future? It is heart-wrenching to say the least that our kids should be allowed to pursue an endless vicious cycle? While they did their part, the government people have truly let them down. Where is the fee-free policy?
One way to explore additional opportunities for the young people is perhaps to inject additional funding through the Don Bosco-type practical training. This is certainly one area to open new opportunities for practical training which would help prepare the young people for the life ahead.
It is certainly a good start. The difficulty is whether those who run the institution would be willing to consider such cooperation given that it has its own board and that they may not be too keen to tango.
Still it is worth exploring. We cannot continue to give the impression that all is well. All is not well.
National leaders are standing in the way of our young people trying to advance their future and indeed the future of this country. We need to consider a brake with the past because the night comes when no one can work.
One only hopes the brake with the past starts this year and continues into 2019, the year which will mark the changing of the guard, come March that year. One also hopes that Taiwan slows down in the distribution of its slush fund.
While Tapei’s intention was noble, those who received the funds have abused the money in many ways than one. Taiwan can help curb corruption in this country. The funding has dwarfed development progress in this country.