Scholarship application site open today
BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
SOLOMON Islands Government (SIG) online Scholarship application site ‘www.sitesa.gov.sb’ will be open for public access and application filing as of today.
Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) Permanent Secretary (PS) Dr Franco Rodie confirmed this during the official launching of the ‘Online Scholarship application for 2020-2021’ last week Friday.
A total of 1000 in-country scholarships are made available for 2021.
The 2021 Scholarship allocation by categories offered according to MEHRD are Pre-Service, Pre-Service- Constituency, In-Service – Public Sector (fully funded), In-Service – Private Sector (fully funded) and In-Service Teachers.
Speaking during last week’s launching, Mr Rodie said the ‘online Scholarship application and administrative system’ marks an important milestone in the collective history in reforming and revolutionising the administrations of Solomon Islands Government Scholarship Programme.
“Allow me to talk briefly about the benefits of the online application process which is the key feature of this launch,” said Rodie.
“Moving away from the conventional application process through paper based to the online application provides some key benefits. Remember if we are going to utilise the power of IT, we have to do it now and not to wait till everyone has access to the internet super highway. The following are the key reasons for going online; an online platform is more accessible and appealing, encouraging a wider applicant pool, it creates process that is transparent and improved collaboration, the online system gives the candidates or students that apply for scholarships an online account where they can check the status at any time. In addition, the software can send automated update if anything is holding up their application. The online application features give students a better sense of where they stand and more confidence in the scholarship program. Ensure fair and balanced decisions. Applications are assessed and evaluated based on their merit, skills and experience and eligibility, provides insights into the scholarship programme’s effectiveness and impact through reports generated from the system, reduces time spent on data entry from hard copies that usually takes three to four months to complete to a click of a button, provides a neutral evaluation system that gives you a fair result of the merit of the applicants, reduces biasness, nepotism and corruption from internal or external interferences.
“Justification for the 2021 round of In-Country Scholarship, due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus [Covid-19] pandemic and the uncertainty of cost that would be incurred in maintaining both new and continuing students in various regional and international institutions, the Cabinet has made a decision to offer in-country scholarships opportunities for in-country institutions that have active programs that are being offered locally in face to face mode of learning.
“The increase in the total number of in-country scholarships for 2021 is a re-alignment of awards within the current budget estimates. First, this is done in consideration of the uncertainty and re-adjustment in tertiary training following Covid-19 pandemic responses in the countries of training. Second, to encourage and increase enrolment by local training institutions, hence promoting local institutions to develop training standards aligned to regional and international accreditations and reduce the reliance on out of country training. Third, to increase overall in-county scholarships awards and opportunities, especially at SINU and the TVET sector at a reduced cost. Fourth, to accommodate the fields of studies identified by the Labour Market Demand Survey conducted over the last four years [2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019] and the Pacific Labour Market Studies conducted in 2019. Put an end to additional scholarships, as a regular practise in past years and prevent inconvenience and costly unregulated hiccups.”