Investigations into the misuse of scholarships awarded by the Solomon Islands government (SIG) will soon be conducted by the Solomon Islands Tertiary Education and Skills Authority (SITESA).
That was according to the SITESA CEO Constance Nasi in response to questions asked by local journalists during a Press Conference held on Friday last week.
The misuse of SIG scholarships was raised via social media, where, it was alleged, that certain awardees used the allowance they received to finance their application to work under the labor mobility scheme. Some have allegedly left the country to work at farms overseas.
CEO Nasi said SITESA has already set up a scholarship committee and will investigate these allegations.
“At this stage, we are aware of those issues, and with the new process and the new scholarship committee that is now in place, we will have a more rigid assessment and investigative process.
“A lot of students would not be happy with our new process, but what we are trying to do is to close the gaps, and also put in place a disciplinary process for such cases if it is true.
“So, if what is alleged is true, then we will have a process where we will talk directly to the employer of the person that used scholarship funds for something else, like working under a seasonal program,’’ CEO Nasi said.
She also encourages the public who may have information regarding allegations raised to come forward with evidence, to share with SITESA, even if the allegation involves SITESA staff as they have an internal process to deal with such cases.
She said bribery on SIG scholarships, and students using scholarships to travel to sessional work schemes are very serious allegations and the SITESA scholarship committee will not take such action lightly.