‘Desperate’ Solomons Students In Fiji Waiting On State Stipends

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‘Desperate’ Solomons Students In Fiji Waiting On State Stipends Reportedly foraging for food from USP campus breadfruit trees

By Ednal R. Palmer

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 1, 2012) – Solomon Islands students studying at the University of South Pacific’s Laucala campus in Fiji are reportedly in a desperate situation to survive.

A Laucala student Sitiveni Shadds said some students are now surviving on breadfruits around the campus.

"Others who are able to secure lending funds will have to repay a substantial amount of interest on top of what they owed from lenders when they get their allowances," Mr. Shadds said.

The students had been pleading for the Government to pay up their allowances, but said no payments had been received to date.

Mr. Shadds said it was a heartbreaking and discouraging sight when some students resort to fruits around the campus to help settle their stomachs.

"Student could not purchase their course materials which is the most important and crucial thing to our learning."

He said students are hunting everywhere at the moment for financial help from those who can lend money.

"Students renting off campus are facing the risk of being told to vacate their residences due to the non payment of rent."

Mr. Shadds added that it was sad to see Solomon Islands students sitting in groups around the campus just to talk and seek news from each other about their allowances.

"Some students renting on campus could not access university online services because of rental arrears and clothes are now washed without washing detergents.

"We need Mr. Lilo’s government to do something about the situation so we can continue with classes effectively."

The students only just started the second semester classes more than a week ago but their allowance was yet to be settled.

The students last received their allowance two months ago prior to the mid semester break.

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