The Solomon Islands Opposition Leader, Dr Derek Sikua has described the 'breadfruit' saga of government-sponsored students at Fiji's University of South Pacific as 'embarrassing and demoralizing'.Sikua's call follows reports that Solomon Islands students at USP's Laucala Campus have resorted to harvesting breadfruit around Suva for their survival due to the non- payment of their second semester allowances.
He has called on the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to release funds for their allowances.
Sikua says it is embarrassing and demoralizing for 'our' students to beg for their survival in a foreign land and could have been avoided if the government is genuine about prioritising education.
The Opposition Leader also says lack of finance should not be an excuse for the government as student allowances are catered for in the Annual Government Budget and should have been paid before the start of each semester.
Sikua has also questioned the government's use of virements to facilitate the student allowances saying there should be a funding problem for Solomon Islands Government sponsored students, unless the budget allocation for students' allowances is vired for other purposes.