Thursday, 13 November 2008 3:48 PM

Cuban Scholarships & GPA's

Let me also contribute to this Cuban scholarship discussion. As George Hoa'au stated GPA is not all that counts but also character among other things. I am glad that selectors now finally realize that GPA's do not reflect the truth although it might assist them in measuring an individual's ability. In the past, I guess GPA was the only criteria used to assess individuals who want to purse Medicine because during my time students with top grades were sent to NZ & Aussie to do Medicine while the rest either to PNG or Fiji. I was a product of these selections based on GPA's and I am sure there a similar stories out there. I was not selected to do Medicine because my GPA was low. In the Solomon's where opportunities are few this is like a door shutting the future. My perseverance and certainly not a back door dealing but gut wrenching hard work proved to these guys in NTU that I am capable of pursuing Medicine. Fast forward several years down the line and I did certainly prove that GPA's are not the only scope to view individual's ability.

Just a few words of encouragement to those young people who were not selected to do Medicine including George Hoa'au's nephew, this is not the end of your plan to do Medicine, there are lots of other avenues to pursue this. The easiest way is the Cuban way but the Capitalist way requires a bit of sweating and risk taking. Also Medicine is not the only career that can reveal your true potential, certainly all the billionaires in this world do not have GPA of 4.0 nor are some great leaders like US Presidents who are almost always lawyers (non are Medical Drs as far as I know). Therefore, in the Solomon Islands, taking up other careers does not indicate you have a lower GPA/IQ etc because GPA is a much skewed view of assessing individual's ability.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Ishmael Togamae and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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