We need our book allowance: SIG students in Fiji

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USP Laucala Campus
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BY BARNABAS MANEBONA

The second semester for this year is nearly through, and Government-sponsored students in Fiji institutions are still waiting for their book allowance.

Disappointed SIG students at Fiji said they need the ‘Book Allowance’ because monthly allowances cannot cater for school materials.

To add to matters, SIG students point out that only October and November are left for school this year in its second semester.

SIG students having waited since July express being weary waiting for their ‘Book Allowance’, because despite numerous previous calls have been made, there has never been any positive update or response.

“Seeing that it is September now and we have not yet received our ‘Book Allowance’ is not good. We are asking for transparency on this matter as we understand that we are in challenging times and our economy is going down due to the negative impacts of Coronavirus [Covid-19]. Therefore, it will only be good if the government and ministry responsible be honest with us on whether we will receive book allowances or not, rather than causing us to have high expectations that will not be met,” said SIG students wishing for anonymity.

“If they say we will still receive it then “when “? If they say no because of financial crisis faced by the Government then please do let the students know about it.

“Waiting for ‘Book Allowance’ has become a pressing issue to SIG students, waiting for a very long time without clear information. Such situation of frustration also affects students’ learning.”

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Attempts to get comment from the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) over this issue were not possibly yesterday.

Meanwhile, in a letter issued yesterday to SIG students by MEHRD’s Suva-based Education Attaché (EA) Francis Tavava, he said: “Dear students,
“I would like to thank you for your perseverance at this difficult time but I hope you have endured the spirit of patience with me.

I understand students will be frustrated but your continuous support for each other is slowly seen and noticed. I applaud students for their positive attitude towards studies and I begin to see students striving for excellence rather than complacency.

“I would like to strongly advise students living off campus to be cautious with any valuables that you have and a simple reminder to check your doors before slip in the morning after late studies.

If you returning to your accommodation after class in the evening please call your friends accompany you. Laef hem difficult distam and pipol ba threaten or steal from students so luk afta ufala gud [Solomon Pidgin].

“Allowance will be on Friday 11th September and further advise on spending. Please prioritize your rent and food first therefore, management skills as academics must be practiced. All the best.”

With the EA’s email yesterday, SIG students at Fiji said there is still no update on ‘Book Allowance’.

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