The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) paid one hundred and eighty-two University of the South Pacific (USP) students, at the Laucala campus, their allowance on Friday.While this may come as a relief for these students, those that are yet to receive their allowances are currently finding it very difficult to concentrate on their studies.
Reports from Fiji have stated that students have been surviving on the generosity of other Solomon Islands students who have received their allowances.
One student living on campus said that they have been refused from eating at the students mess unless they pay.
The situation has worsened with the delay and without any word from the MEHRD. Reports from Suva said a MEHRD representative who turned up at the campus could do little to alleviate the situation.
However, the Director of the National Training Unit (NTU), Selu Maezama, the remaining182 students will now be paid their allowance by this Friday.
When asked what caused the delay, Mr. Maezama said the MEHRD had to apply for an override in the Budget, which has to be approved.
"We just received word from the Finance that it has been approved. When approval is made it will take one to two days to process it. So the students will be paid by Friday."
The total allowances paid so far, for the first semester, will cost Solomon Islands tax payers around SBD$1.3 million dollars. For the total 540 students that amount would triple, costing tax payers approximately SBD$4 million dollars for the first 6 months.