By Alfred Sasako
THREE weeks ago SIG-sponsored students at Laucala campus in Fiji were told their allowances would not be touched. They would get their full monthly allowance in two equal instalments.
According to the students, it was the director of the National Training Unit (NTU) Clement Tito, who gave them the assurance in his meeting with the students about three weeks ago.
But yesterday the students numbering in their hundreds got the shock of their lives when they were told they would receive by today only F$240, instead of F$800 a fortnight.
Many are now faced with eviction if their rentals are not paid by this week.
The news in the huge cut in the students’ allowances was broken in an email by none other than Samantha Tetei Bob, the Education Attaché at the Solomon Islands High Commission in Suva, Fiji.
Island Sun has obtained a copy of the email.
In it, she wrote,
This email serves to confirm that all students will be receiving $240 by Thursday. With the funds available in the Scholarship account students are able to be paid the above amount.”
One student told Island Sun, some landlords have threatened students with eviction if their rentals are not paid by this week.
“Some Landlords have told us if this week there is no allowance then we have to move out from their houses. This causes a lot of disturbance as we have only a few weeks left for class before we sit the final exams for the semester,” the student who requested anonymity told Island Sun.
“This is not a joke. It is a serious problem that we face here as SIG students,” the student said.
“How can we live on F$240 after paying our rentals? We have not even received the full allowance for the month of April, the student said.
Other students said the Solomon Islands’ government is breaching its duty of care to the hundreds of students it is sponsoring at Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji.
Solomon Islands students at Emalus Campus in Port Vila, Vanuatu, also raised similar concerns last week.