To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Monday, August 20, 2007

SIG sponsored students at USP Laucala petition Education Minister over allowance delay

Solomon Islands Government-sponsored students at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva, Fiji have petitioned the Minister for Education, Dr Derek Sikua over government's continuous delay to pay their living and book allowances.

The petition is demanding a response from the Minister by the end of this month on a number of issues raised in relations to the allowance issue.

According to SIBC reports, the petition was signed by close to 300 Solomon Islands students and sent to the minister by e-mail on Saturday. It was put together based on resolutions reached following their meeting last Wednesday.

Among points raised in the petition, the students are demanding that SIG-sponsored students recalled for poor performance in semester one of 2007 be reinstated for studies immediately. The students stated in their petition that their failure was related to the government's continuous delay in paying their book and living allowances. They also demand that the National Training Unit must not count any courses withdrawn or failed by students at the end of semester two this year, towards termination of scholarships. They stated that there is a direct correlation between allowances and poor academic performances.

SIBC News has not been able to get the minister to comment on the students' demands. However, it was understood that government has already made arrangements for payment of the allowances in question. The National Training Unit last week said the Central Bank was processing the transfer and students were expecting to their allowances by last Thursday.

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