GOV’T SETTLES SINU DUES
By CHARLES KADAMANA
THE Government on Tuesday settled $3.7 million in outstanding tuition fees with Solomon Islands National University (SINU).
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Dr Franco Rodie confirmed this on Wednesday ahead of a meeting SINU Students Association is organising today at Kukum campus.
Dr Rodie said the $3.7 million is to cover unpaid tuition fees for government sponsored students who studied at SINU last year.
Student Association president Reginald Ngati has issued a notice to meet with government sponsored students today to discuss their allowances, refunds, outstanding tuition fees and registration.
Mr Ngati said the Acting Vice Chancellor, at the request of the student body, has extended the timeframe to withhold the registration of government sponsored students if the government does not settle its outstanding tuition fee by end of this month.
“I have been requesting for a dialogue to reach an agreement with the ministry since Monday but there was no response and that is why I call for a meeting,” he said.
However, Dr Rodie said the student body may have raised the issue with National Training Unit (NTU) but not with the MEHRD senior management.
He assured the student body that the ministry and SI DCC government have done all that is possible to clear or settle its outstanding payment to SINU.
“Be assured that my ministry and SI DCC Government have done all that is possible to clear or settle outstanding payments to SINU.
“Be informed that as of Tuesday 6 February, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) paid a cheque of $3.7 million to SINU as payment of 2017 outstanding student tuition fees.
“We are currently pursuing payment of their recurrent funds to support SINU operation during the first quarter of this year as we await the passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill.”
Dr Rodie said the development funds will be paid as soon as the 2018 Appropriation Bill is passed by Parliament, which will not occur until April this year.
In 2017 the national government sponsored 1,128 students undertaking various courses at SINU.