Scholarships already awarded, ‘not true’: MEHRD

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Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Education (MEHRD), Mr James Bosamata
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BY BARNABAS MANEBONA

RUMOUR that certain applicants have already been awarded with 2021 Solomon Islands Government (SIG) scholarships is ‘not true’.

The ministry of education (MEHRD) rebuts this saying selection process had only just begun.

“It is not an overnight process as applications were just closed two weeks ago (January 31) and the selection will have to go through stages for weeks before results come out,” said Deputy Secretary (DS) James Bosamata of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD).

Speaking during yesterday’s nationwide talk-back show, Mr Bosamata explains that results probably will come out around April because the 2021 scholarships will be effective in the second semester of this year.

“In fact it is a process, it is not an overnight thing.  It has to go through the stages on the selection process. So last two weeks it was closed, and then the process will start on which it could take a number of weeks or even months before results come out. We are looking at around perhaps April because we already said that 2021 scholarships will be effective on the Second Semester of 2021. I think that is the confusion,” said Bosamata.

“Some [anxious] say SINU will be starting on February 15, the USP will start on March 1, and they ask what will become of them. But as far as scholarships are concerned, it will be effective on the second semester. Because of the effects of Coronavirus [Covid-19] last year, that cycle of 2021 scholarships starts late. We need to plan properly, we need to consider the different factors affecting it, and therefore it will not be effective in the beginning of this year as during normal times.

“So those of you applying, be relaxed in the meantime, the process will take its course.”

According to the MEHRD Deputy Secretary’s advice on the online system, there is no need to queue in order to search for the (scholarship award) list.

“If you go into your account on the online application, it will tell you the status of your application. There is no need for ringing on phones to our offices or emailing or coming to office in person. Just check through your online system and the system will inform you the status of your application where it has reached. Or when an application is rejected, on checking, the system will also tell this and that there will be reasons provided,” said Bosamata.

“So those of you applying relax and follow the process of the scholarship selection.”

In addition, Mr Bosamata also took the opportunity to highlight that there is a reform in the education and that scholarships now come under the Solomon Islands Tertiary Education and Skills Authority (SITESA).

“The National Training Unit [NTU] is shifted to SITESA and renamed the National Scholarships Division [NSD]. It is a division under SITESA, and SITESA is created as an Act of Parliament passed in March 1, 2017. The establishment of SITESA and reforms on scholarships and tertiary sector is a result of the SITESA Act 2017. So if you have query on scholarships, refer it to NSD at SITESA on ‘Level Three’ Lee Kwok Kuen [LKK] building, Point Cruz,” said Bosamata.

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