OUR students studying medicine in Cuba must have been going through a terrible time there.
Yes, it’s a terrible experience having to go without money in a foreign land.
Their threat to boycott exams is understandable.
They’re simply saying to the Government in Honiara that “enough is enough. You either give us our pocket money or there’s no point for us studying”.
More than 50 of our students are studying in Cuba. They were there under bilateral arrangement between the two countries.
Cuba meets their tuition, Solomon Islands their airfares and allowances.
The Government, through the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, knew all this.
It knew its responsibility is to financially maintain and support the students while doing their studies in Cuba.
But why is the government faltering on its responsibility?
The distance between Cuba and Solomon Islands may be a contributing factor. International banking requirements may be another.
Still, the Government is responsible for the welfare and wellbeing of our students there.
It’s a responsibility that must not be taken lightly.
The Government must ensure students’ allowances are paid when they’re due.
The students claimed they’ve two outstanding allowances. These are monies they’re entitled to get under their scholarships.
So where’s the government budget for the students’ allowances? Where’s the US$100,000 Portugal recently donated for this?
Let’s not put our students in awkward position. They’re already missing families and loved ones.
To allow them go without money in a country that is thousands of miles away is to add more misery to their situation.
The students are our assets, our resources.
They need every support we can give to ensure they successfully complete their studies.
The Government should take every step possible, now and urgently, and transfer the students their allowances.
They need it more than anything.
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