THE Parliamentary Opposition Group calls on the Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG) to increase its scholarship awards to at least 2,000 awards to cater for the increasing number of Solomon Islanders who deserve to undertake further studies both in-country and abroad.
Opposition Leader Hon Manasseh Maelanga said the current 700 government scholarship awards is simply inadequate.
This number stands for 200 scholarships administered by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, 400 scholarships, through Members of Parliament constituency awards, and 100 partially-funded scholarship awards targeting citizens who are able to partly fund their tertiary studies.
Maelanga said the number of Solomon Islanders who complete their secondary education at the Form 6 and Form 7 level annually is growing rapidly, let alone the number of working class Solomon Islanders who either need tertiary educational training or further tertiary training.
He said SIDCCG as the current political government in charge of the Solomon Islands Government is obliged under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to provide adequate educational opportunities for Solomon Islands citizens and it must fulfil this obligation.
The Opposition Leader said any decision to reduce the number of government scholarships by the SIDCCG will be a slap in the face of Solomon Islanders and serious non-compliance with Solomon Islands UN obligations.
He said if the SIDCCG cannot fund its existing 700 scholarship awards and additional scholarships then it must secure funding to meet this obligation without fail.