BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
SOLOMON Islands students at the University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus in Fiji have raised concern over the partial payment of their January allowances.
Concerned students who wished anonymity told the Island Sun paper that this partial payment is causing problems for most of the students.
“We only received $300 Fijian earlier this month (January), this is not enough to pay for rents\ and food as most of us are renting homes outside of the campuses.
“And because we don’t want to be chased away by our landlords and landladies, most of us are forced to borrow money elsewhere to support ourselves, “the concerned students said.
They also said the Permanent Secretary of MERHD Franco Rode on a talk-back show assured them that they would receive their full allowances.
“Nevertheless, while waiting in anticipation, we were startled when we realized there was another partial payment of $400 Fijian transferred to our account,” the students said.
They further stressed that upon receiving this partial payment of $400 Fijian, an email was sent to them (students) by the Education Attaché’ on Thursday 20th January which stated “I must strongly emphasize that there won’t be any allowance soon till late February. I strongly advise students to use the small funds wisely.”
“Indeed, it is frustrating for some of us, especially when trying to clear out our arrears, plus the given situation in Fiji. If this partial payment is premediated plus the plan from the MEHRD for this holiday, it is right and very important to notify students in advance so that we can adjust ourselves in some areas we need,” the frustrated students said.
They requested the Solomon Islands Education Attaché and the Solomon Islands Students Association (SISA) to thoroughly contemplate reality on the ground before communicating information to students.
“With that, we kindly call on the responsible authorities to please stop giving us false hope because we students will cling to promises. We are living in a foreign land without parents and this is not our land to plant crops to sustain our living in trying times like this”.
“We are living in a foreign land without parents and this is not our land to plant crops to sustain our living in trying times like this, thus when students face financial constraints, we will have no money and will go hungry.
“And if this continues to happen the whole of this semester, it will affect our studies,” the students said.