ABOUT 59 Solomon Islands government students studying at the University of the South Pacific (USP) have been cancelled after they failed two or more of their courses undertaken last semester.
The termination, which was decided by the National Training Committee, was enforced last Friday.
The Solomon Islands Student Association (SISA) president Anthony Maelasi said, the scholarship withdrawal was shocking and unfair because the assessment of scholarship renewal was normally done at the end of the year.
“The good news is, a few students have managed to get a number of their grades reconsidered by USP and will remain, and others are doing the same,” Mr Maelasi said.
“We will try and mitigate and see if NTC could reconsider its decision; we can only try and give these dear students a warning rather than a straight termination and suspension.”
Former SISA president Clayton Tuimaka said, the NTC’s decision contradicted the government scholarship policy which clearly stipulated that assessment is to be conducted at the end of each year.
He said, the government sponsored students in Fiji should petition against the NTC’s decision.
“This is a huge contributing factor to student’s failure to perform. The truth is student cannot live on $200 monthly while undertaking studies.”
Cephas Saega, one of the 59 students whose scholarship was revoked, said he accepted the government’s decision “because pass and fail are part of education”.
“Every situation to me in my life is counted as blessing,” said Saega.
“I only wish and pray that this kind of decision will always be just and accountable to everyone, not only this year but in the years to come.”
The SIG education attache (EA) to Fiji, Samantha Tiete, confirmed that the 59 students would be returning back home on August 8.
A senior Solomon Island student, Alphones Botu, encouraged students facing such harsh decision with this advice.
“Bear in mind that this is not the end of the world. Your failure of today is a success for tomorrow, think positive and move forward,” Mr Botu said.
By Simon Abana
In Suva, Fiji