BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
REPATRIATION date is not yet fixed for Solomon Islands graduating students this year over-seas but national government is thinking on ‘the second week of December’.
As soon as all arrangements are formalised then they will announce the date of the actual ‘travel back’ said Permanent Secretary (PS) Dr Franco Rodie of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) during yesterday’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) ‘Talk-Back Show’.
As understood the government is planning to repatriate students who should be able to complete their studies while ongoing students are to remain in host countries because of the difficulties in terms of quarantine measures as well as travel restrictions, Dr Rodie assures those to remain that they will do their best over their allowances from December to New Year.
“In terms of the repatriation of graduating students, if you have been following very carefully on all the decisions or plans that we have, earlier on we mentioned for students who are currently studying in Fiji based institutions, Papua New Guinea [PNG], Vanuatu particularly USP Emalus Campus as well as Samoa and some in Australia and New Zealand, [that] we are planning to repatriate students who should be able to complete their studies or graduating students,” said Dr Rodie.
“So just for your interest, in Fiji we have 368 graduating students, Samoa , PNG , Vanuatu with 84, Australia with 19, and New Zealand .
“Now for ongoing students in those institutions, there are about 898, so these are the students that we are planning for them to remain in the host countries because of the difficulties in terms of quarantine measures as well as travel restrictions. We will make sure for these students, they receive their allowances from December 2020 until February when they are expected to resume their classes.
“All in all, ongoing students, 898 those who are going to remain in those institutions and for graduating students who we are going to repatriate are about 530.
“Now we have not really fixed the date for them to be repatriated but we are thinking of second week of December, as soon as all the arrangements have been formalised, then we will announce the date of the actual travel back to the Solomon.
“So those are the repatriation arrangements for our graduating students and those who are going to remain in those host countries or institution.”