To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SIG students at USP finally receive their allowance entitlements

By Moffat Mamu

Solomon Islands students studying at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji have finally received their much-awaited allowance.

Secretary to the Solomon Islands Students Association Matilda Dani told Solomon Star yesterday that the money has arrived on Monday into the association’s account.

Ms Dani said the association would be distributing it into the students’ accounts this week.

The students have been without their allowance for the last three weeks following the delay in processing the money. The frustrated students have also gone to the extreme of signing a petition demanding the payment of allowances be made before August 31.

The petition signed by most of the 300 government sponsored students was sent to Minister of Education Dr Derek Sikua.

The students in their petition said: “The practice of paying our allowances late whether intended or otherwise in the last semesters up to semester 2, 2007 has adversely affected our studies.”

“Hence, there is a direct correlation between late allowances and poor academic performance. This is because the late payment off allowance affects every part of our lives from buying textbooks and stationary to renting accommodation and spending for basic necessities.”

The students said textbooks are normally sold out in the first week of classes and often they have to wait to buy the second batch of orders from the bookshop. This further prolongs our time to catch up on readings,” the students said in their petition letter.

“Two weeks without textbooks and other study implements is difficult enough to catch up apart from the psychological trauma our students have to endure.”

On the housing rental market two weeks without allowance could mean facing the threat of eviction, the students said.

A concerned mother and student told Solomon Star from Suva over the weekend that the situation would get worse if there is continuous delay. Already some students are resorting to eating breadfruit and mangrove pods because of lack of money.

“Imagine students who have families, they are really affected,” she said.

However, it is believed that with the allowances now paid students would now be able to smile again and concentrate on their studies.

Source: Solomon Star

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