A TOTAL of 700 students will be sponsored by the government as new intakes (pre-service & in-service) for this year.
A reliable source from the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development confirmed to this paper over the weekend.
The 700 scholarships are categorized under:
· High Achievers & Cost sharing categories – 300
· Constituency (MPs) category – 400
“About 400 are under Constituency scholarships which MPs do the selection,” the source said.
“Compared to last year this is quite low,” the source added.
“There are no new scholarships for the Philippines,” the source further added.
The Education Officer said the High achievers (Merit) and Cost sharing list will not be released as yet because they have to wait for the completion of the Constituency lists.
“All scholarships are released together at one time.”
Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) Dr Franco Rodie told Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last year that political scholarship awards will only be for those score above Grade Point Average (GPA) 3.0 and relevance of the program for betterment of the constituencies.
He said MPs will no longer extend their influence into the selection process for students awarded with scholarships under their respective constituencies.
Dr Rodie said his ministry, through the National Training Committee (NTC), will do the selection of scholarship recipients categorised under constituencies.
Its understood, every year each constituency will have four scholarships, thus a total of 200 scholarships comes under the 50 constituencies are awarded every year.
Last year government spent almost $290 million on scholarships to ensure the country’s tertiary students get quality training at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and other tertiary institutions abroad.
Lately there are only around 12,000 Solomon Islanders with certificates, diplomas, degrees, masters and PHD’s.
Government wants to see more Solomon Islanders graduate with higher qualifications so they can contribute in a significant way to Solomon Islands nation building efforts.
There are currently at least 4000 students undertaking tertiary studies at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and various other regional tertiary institutions under the Solomon Islands Government sponsorship.
By TEDDY KAFO