Government sponsored students studying at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Laucala Campus Suva Fiji have queried why their June allowance was cut to just FJ$200.
They’ve expect to collect FJ$900.
The huge reduction has caused anger and frustrations amongst the students.
“This is a serious issue and our Government and responsible authorities should address it,” one student told the Sunday Star.
“To make it worse this happened during the exam week.
“How can you (government) expect us to survive on this $200?
“We call on responsible authorities to sort this out and settle our allowances in full.”
Another student who studied politics said the issue is very frustrating and needs to be addressed appropriately.
“Responsible authorities should not ignore this.
“Some students after settling their rent for this month will have nothing left. How can one survive or manage to get good grades only with empty stomach when going to the exam room,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands Student Association (SISA) president Rolex Sitana said that last week student’s body hold a meeting with Rose Kudi, secretary of National Training Unit(NTU) and the education attaché, David Faradatoloa, who oversees SIG students in Suva.
“Mrs Kudi informed us allowance for June was already sent to the SIG scholarship bank account in Fiji,” Sitana said.
“While Faradatolo said he’s still waiting for funds from the government before he can pay the full allowance.”
Sitana said that students started their exams last week and 923 SIG students were affected.
“Students don’t have money to pay for food and stationeries.
“Those who rent-off campus have to travel for distance with empty stomach to sit their exams,” he said.
Sitana added that at the moment his executive only cared for the students’ welfare because if they are hungry, they will not sit their exams.
He said that in a recent meeting with Faradatolo, the education attaché there is now no link between SISA body with his (Education Attaché) office and NTU which created a lot of confusions to the students.
According to some students, Faradatolo told them the allowance cut was due to inadequate funds in the SIG scholarship bank account in Fiji.
He said he decided to distribute only $200 for each student just to sustain them while waiting for some funds from the Ministry of Finance in Honiara.
“We are yet to have sufficient funds to be able to process your full June allowances,” the students quoted a message he shared with them.
Another student said the shortfall and delay of allowances should not be an issue anymore if the responsible authorities are committed to their work.
He said they should now in a good position to realise the problem since it is an ongoing issue.
The Sunday Star is seeking comments from the National Training Unit on this.