Mother Of USP Student Who Lost Scholarship Pleas For Second Chance

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Son told to repay scholarship after involvement in political activity

By Torika Tokalau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 4, 2014) – The mother of a student whose scholarship was terminated over his involvement in voluntary political activity has called on the State to give him another chance.

Sereima Kidia, the mother of Tamanirarama Jone, a second-year student of the University of the South Pacific, asked for forgiveness from those who withdrew the scholarship.

Mrs Kidia, mother of five children including two sets of twins, said she had been the sole breadwinner in the family since Tamanirarama was eight years old.

With the little that she earned from selling cakes, jams and other pastries, sometimes earning $80 a week, she managed to see all her five children through high school.

She said she was relying on Tamanirarama, her eldest, to look after her when he graduates next year.

"Tamani told me two Sundays ago that his scholarship was terminated. When he told me I was quiet, all I could do was cry," she said.

"I didn't know what else to do. I have always encouraged my children to take part in activities such as debates and so on but I didn't think that being part of a political activity would result in this."

Tamanirarama was cited for his voluntary work with aspiring politician Roshika Deo.

Mrs Kidia said she still had hope that her son would complete his degree.

"All I ask from the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs is to please forgive Tamani. Give him a second chance so he can prove to them through his results that he deserves this scholarship."

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