Education PS refutes fund misappropriation claims

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Franco Rodie. Photo credit. OPMC.

The Minister of Education and Human Resources Development has refuted claims that money allocated to cover tuition fees for Solomon Islands Government-sponsored students at Fiji National University has been misappropriated.

Education Ministry permanent secretary Dr Franco Rodie told SIBC Online there was no evidence to suggest that funds recently sent to the Solomons Education Bank Account in Fiji were, in fact, misappropriated.

The claim came to light following the delay in students’ allowances this year and students in turn posting to social media.

Dr Roddie said the Fiji-based Solomon Islands education attache had paid the outstanding allowances for all continuing students, and had also sent back funds to the education ministry and the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to allow payments to be made to final year students.

He confirmed the National Training Unit had not yet settled semester two tuition fees for students at the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University, although outstanding fees for students graduating from FNU had been settled.

The permanent secretary said the finance ministry had prioritised settling all government-sponsored semester two tuition fees before the end of the month.

Dr Roddie said NTU management respected the right of students to express their concerns but urged students to verify information before sharing it the social media and other platforms.

He added his ministry and the finance ministry were doing all they could to pay students’ outstanding allowances and tuition fees amidst the government’s grave financial situation.

By: Charlie Salini

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