By EDDIE OSIFELO
MINISTRY of Education and Human Resources will meet the airfares of the six terminated students in Philippines.
Permanent Secretary, Dr Franco Rodie confirmed this after the terminated were worried that government would not meet their airfares to return home after borders are open.
“Be assured that MEHRD will meet the terminated students’ travel expenses to return to Solomon Islands.
“I think some of the advisory issued to the students on the matter have been grossly distorted for reasons I would not know,” he said.
PS Rodie said it is important to understand that these students were former SIG sponsored students and therefore the Ministry is obliged to meet their fares to return home.
He said some of these students have obviously breached the scholarship agreement they signed particularly in regards to their academic performance – students who do not meet the minimum academic standard set for no valid reasons would usually have their scholarships terminated.
“Some of the students were terminated but did not return before the coronavirus pandemic and have obviously overstayed in the Philippines for far too long, despite the advisory and directive from the NTU/MEHRD for them to return home due to their poor academic performance,” he said.
Director National Scholarship Division (NSD-SITESA), Curtis Kalu said even in 2019 when facilitating immigration matters with immigration office in Manila, a number of them did not cooperate with the immigration officers who took extra effort to seek them at their locations in the city.
She said students have not cooperated to return even well before 2019 and now when COVID-19 crisis is on, most would want to refer to the crisis as reason forbidding them to return quickly to SI.
“As correctly said, NSD/MEHRD is prepared to facilitate return of terminated students as that was the process.
“Termination of scholarship means student has to return home and may appeal but is expected to be at home after receiving termination letters,” she added.
Island Sun understands one terminated student had already returned home before the outbreak of the coronavirus.