BY ALEX DADAMU
SELF-SPONSORED students and Final year students studying at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) are seeking leniency from SINU Management and Finance office regarding outstanding fees of last semester and for the second semester (2).
The students in a meeting on Wednesday 9th September, approached the University’s Student’s representative body, the Solomon Islands National University Students Association (SINUSA) – urging the student representative to raise their concerns to responsible offices within the National University and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD).
According to the students, they have been struggling and are having financial difficulties trying to meet semester two (2) fees and also outstanding fees for last semester (1), “the current situation (SoPE) is not helping, we are stressed out, our parents and fee payers are stressed out, Please help us,” a student spokesperson said this morning.
Students Registration and enrolment has begun last week and will continue this week, however, most self-sponsored and final year students will have to settle their outstanding arrears and pay up a hefty 60% of the total fees for semester two (2) before they can be able to register or enroll this semester.
President of the University Students Association (SINUSA), Frazer Seulu confirm to Sunday Isles this morning that as students representative, he has taken up the concern and issue to the Pro – Vice-Chancellor Academic (PVCA), Dr. Jack Maebuta.
“I have been informed that the university’s senior management will meet with the Minister of Education and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary (PS) on Wednesday 16th of September which is next week to look at alternatives to address the issue.
“Students are greatly affected by the current COVID-19 situation and are calling on the SINU Management to please be lenient especially with outstanding fee payment for the previous semester and also the upcoming one,” Mr. Seulu said.
The SINUSA President further pointed out that according to the Deputy Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Education, James Bosamata on Sunday during a Radio talkback show on COVID-19 updates said the Ministry Education is looking to propose free education in the secondary school level.
“What about us at the tertiary level, are we not affected also? Please, consider us as we are also greatly affected by the current situation,” Mr. Seulu said.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, work on screening and finalizing the work permit of the SINU Vice-Chancellor(VC), Dr. Ganesh Chand is going through the process now.
Sunday Isles understands the VC and other expatriates are currently staying at home without attending to any work at the University until their work permits are granted.