Solomons NGO Calls For Merit-Based Scholarships

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

MMF: Political affiliation, wantok system should be discarded

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 11, 2016) – Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) has called on Ministry of Education and Human Resources (MEHRD) to award scholarships to Form 7 students based on merits and not on political affiliations and wantok system.

MMF president, Charles Dausabea made this call as National Training Unit, National Training Council and senior officials in the Ministry have met last week to finalise lists of new students who will undergo studies at various institutions in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa and others this year.

Dausabea said in the past students with poor academic grades averages (GPA) were awarded scholarships only to be terminated later because they could perform to expectations.

He said in the corrupt selection process, students with high grade passes were left out.

He said this practice needs to be stopped now because the country needs bright and top students to further their studies so they can come back and contribute to the country’s development.

Meanwhile, all Form 7 students have already submitted their academic transcripts to NTU Tuesday this week to allow the responsible bodies to scrutinize their applications before awarding scholarships.

It is reported that the 50 Members of Parliament have made their discretionary preference choices of students whom they are prepared to support financially if they are given government scholarships.

The idea has been criticized by many struggling parents whose children did well in their education but are not able to afford the financial support they needed to go further in their education.

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