Guadalcanal Provincial Education Authority will sponsor more than 200 students to study at Solomon Islands National (SINU) through its provincial scholarship board.
In their efforts to build the province’s human resource capacity, the province for the first time initiated a sponsorship program and injected millions of dollars to sponsor tertiary students wishing to undertake study at the nation’s own and only university.
Provincial Education Minister, Lazarus Rima revealed that this year the provincial assembly has allocated $2 million to sponsor tertiary students (both pre-service and in-service) who are of Guadalcanal origin.
“For so long past leaders of the province failed to prioritize human development,” Rima said.
“This is the most important investment our provincial government can make because it is practically impossible for this province to be granted state government without an adequate pool of skilled and enlightened people,” he added.
“So with a new executive, we initiate and craft an education and training unit last yearto sponsors students every year.”
Rima explained that students have to apply to their office and eligible applicants will be awarded scholarships with set conditions.
“However, we arefair in the selection process ensuring that we pick equally from all students of the 21 wards in the province.”
Last year the provincial government sponsored 110 students at SINU taking various courses.
The Education minister is seeing the fruition of such scholarship scheme now that 29 of the students have already completed their studies and are now serving within the province.
“For last year, it costthe province a total of $1.5 million to sponsor the students, which is a thing we will not regret because they will serve our province in the near future.
“I also receive appraisal from academics in the province with the incentives my office strives to achieve,” said Rima.
His Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is MisackSuia.
Suiarevealed that a policy for the sponsorship program has been drafted and will be launched sometimes this year.
“This policy will set the guidelines of this sponsorship scheme and also for future executive to abide by.
“This program is independent and will never be politicised by greedy leaders,” explained Rima.
He said education is the linchpin that holds together all other facets and spheres of human endeavour, such as teaching, agriculture, health, socio-economic development, science and technology, environmental stewardship, peace and stability, and international relations.
SINU is expected to start its academic year on 2nd February.
By TEDDY KAFO