Government sponsored students have hit out at the Minister for Education and Human Resource Development John Dean Kuku’s statement on outstanding allowances in Parliament last week.
Minister Kuku assured parliament Fiji-based students outstanding allowance have been paid in full.
Kuku uttered this when he answered a question raised by the Leader of the independent group Dr Derick Sikua.
He replied by declaring that all allowances for USP students who are studying in Fiji have already been paid in full by the government on Wednesday with a total amount of FJ$168,000.
The minister said the funds have been transferred to the Solomon Islands scholarship account in Fiji to complete the outstanding allowances for all the students there.
But students affected by the lengthy delay expressed their disappointment to this paper over the weekend.
“We received assurance from the Education Attaché (EA) here in Fiji but since then nothing has been forthcoming.
“This situation is very complicated because it is not handled in a more professional way by the EA.
“Some of her responses on social media were just unprofessional from someone holding such a high position in office.
“We have bills to settle before returning home like rental dues and day by day it’s getting hard for us to survive in a foreign land,” a student who wants his name withheld told the Sunday Star.
Fifty per cent of the students had already returned home on government chartered flights but are still to receive their outstanding parts of their allowance.
The Sunday Star understands the Ministry of Finance and Treasury closed its door on Friday for the Christmas break.
A leader of the Solomon Islands Student Association revealed a protest to the Prime Minister is planned for this week if nothing happens.
“We know MoFT has closed its doors last week and if we don’t receive our allowances by Wednesday, we will march to the PMO to raise our issue with the PM himself.
“Even though we are already arrive home, we still have rentals to settle in Fiji.
“We fear that our academic studies could be held up next year and legal actions might be taken by our landlords,” a SISA leader stated.
More than 1000 local students are studying under SIG scholarship in various institutions in Fiji.
By SIMON ABANA