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Burden off

Torika Tokalau
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"A BIG burden is now off my shoulders." These were the words of Tamanirarama Jone after he learnt his iTaukei Affairs scholarship was reinstated by the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board on Sunday.

The reinstatement on Sunday was also accompanied by assurances from USP yesterday that they are now investigating "incorrect information" that led to the initial termination of his scholarship.

"In response to your query regarding incorrect information given to the TSLB by USP which led to the termination of Tamanirarama Jone's scholarship, USP would like to confirm that we are currently investigating the matter and will issue a press release once details have been finalised," USP said.

In the letter of termination of scholarship to Mr Jone, TSLB stated that it had come to their attention that he was associating himself in political agendas without taking into consideration his obligation with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs.

It added that per a clause in his award letter, Mr Jone was required to abide by his institution's rules and regulations.

In his statement on Sunday, TSLB chairman Dixon Seeto said the board in no way restricted the activities of scholarship holders outside of their study program.

Mr Seeto, when contacted yesterday said he would not make any further, comments and questions sent to the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs two weeks ago remained unanswered when this edition went to press.

Yesterday Mr Jone was just like any other USP student, busy catching up on some last-minute studies before he sat for his first final semester paper in the afternoon.

"I have checked my student online account and I have received all my exam seat numbers. My focus now is on my studies and getting through my exam. I do not have to worry about anything else now."

"It was only after I received the call on Sunday night that I felt such a huge burden lifted from my shoulders," Mr Jone said.

"When I received my scholarship termination letter, I thought that was the end of my studies. I am so thankful to TSLB and their decision to reinstate my scholarship, now I can solely focus on my exams and passing."

He said the support from political groups and individuals during the termination of his scholarship was overwhelming.

"I was simply blown away by the kindness of people, those who didn't even know me but offered to assist me financially.

"I am grateful to them for believing in me so much to help me with my studies.

"That support was what kept me going and I do not think I would have been able to get through all of this without them."

Mr Jone's mother Sereima Kidia said she was relieved her son's scholarship had been reinstated.

"The only thing I was worried about was his chances of sitting for his exams but I know that all this is possible now," she said.





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