Solomon Islands students studying law in Papua New Guinea are worried about being kicked out of houses and apartments they are renting.
This is because their allowances to meet their rentals are yet to be transferred from Honiara.
A spokesman told the Sunday Star in an email they are worried because the Ministry of Education is late in sending their allowances.
“We have sent numerous emails and made countless phone calls to the ministry, but there is negative response from their end,” the spokesman said.
“The NTU (National Training Unit) office phone has never been answered. We are wondering what’s wrong with the staff there.”
He said the only assurance they received from the NTU office two months ago was that: “They are still waiting for the response from their bosses”.
But the spokesman said their greatest concern is that they have only three weeks remaining before the academic year ends.
“Some of us who rented off-campus are being pressurised by our landlords to pay our bills or be kicked out,” he said.
NTU director Clement Tito said the problem the ministry is facing is the budget.
“We are addressing the issue, and we only budgeted for those who were residing at the campus, that were approved by the minister, not those who rented homes off the campus. This causes additional cost to the government,” he said.
“We understand that students need conducive environment, but they must think about the costs as well.
“We also understand that only a small group of law students were renting accommodation outside the campus.
“We cannot do that because it will only attract students to rent accommodation outside, will do that but for next year after I make my official visit to PNG to assess the situation”.
NTU PNG students coordinator Claire Damutalau said they cannot do anything about that because the finance will question them about the invoices that will be raised.
“At this time I cannot do anything within my capacity about the issue. At the beginning we asked for every student to stay in campus, but because they do not listen to us, they faced this problem,” Damutalau said.
“If we were to raise too many invoices for accommodation, the Ministry of Finance will also question us about it,” she added.
BY CHARLEY PIRINGI