Leader of the Parliamentary Independent Group, Dr. Derek Sikua has questioned the newly introduced ‘Medical Check’ system enforced by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development pertaining to government sponsored students studying at various institutions in the region.
A statement from the Independent Group said the new measure was implemented to avoid huge costs incurred by the Ministry in repatriating critically ill students, or deaths, during their study.
Dr Sikua said this initiative is highly questionable as it is always the requirement of the sponsor to meet all additional costs to any unforeseeable circumstances that may occur to its sponsored students studying abroad.
He adds, the new development clearly undermines the ‘scholarship contract’ of the sponsored students.
Meanwhile, Dr Sikua also questioned a government arrangement for all the sponsored students to undertake the proposed check only with the Honiara International Medical Center (HIMC).
He said there are other qualified medical doctors who can perform the job and not HIMC only.
The Leader of Independent said the government must clarify the processes and criteria of selecting HIMC as recent explanations by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary on selecting HIMC has failed to justify the issue.
Meanwhile, a former Councilor for Naha ward in Honiara, Siosi Dioko says it seems the Leader of the Parliamentary Independent Group, Dr Derek Sikua, has a different agenda on education issues.
Mr Dioko told SIBC News in an interview today, Dr Sikua was once the Minister of Education himself and should have done what he thinks best for the people.
“He was there, he’s the Minister. If he saw these things and think they are for the good of the people then why defecting? Stay there and do the right things that you know as a Doctor. But when you defected and then starting to bark, to me I’ll say it’s a different agenda because in the view of Solomon Islands a Doctor is someone that is highly rates and well-respected and we expect you to do good. But when such a game is played from outside like what has happened, that’s a different story.”