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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Solomon Islands Government sponsored students at USP in deep trouble due to delay in allowance

About 530 Solomon Islands Government (SIG) students at the University of the South Pacific have been relying on friends and neighbours for survival for months now because they have not received their allowances from Honiara.

Allen Siosi, one of the students, said he had to cook his meal by fire yesterday because he had no money to buy gas.

Bachelor of Education student Seth Tamoa, said his Fijian neighbours fed him yesterday when they learnt of his situation.

Solomon Islands Students Association secretary Matilda Dani said some students had not received allowance for four months now. Their allowance covers rent, food, text books and other study needs.

"We are helping each other. Some of us are better-off and have been able to help others in the initial stages," Ms Dani said.

"But we cannot go on like this and we ask our government to step in quickly. It is getting serious as some students are contemplating withdrawing some units because they go to lectures without text books."

Mr Siosi said their assignments were due and if they failed it would not augur well for their future. He said some students faced being evicted from their flats for non-payment of rent.

Solomon Islands director of National Training Unit Selu Maezama said their under-staffed unit was still processing outstanding payments.

He assured their students their allowances would be paid by the weekend.

"Their allowances have been processed by the Solomon Islands Central Bank and they should access the money in Suva by Thursday," he said.

Source: Fiji Times

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