2022 General Election: NFP/PA will cancel all debts – Rabuka
10 December, 2022, 11:30 am
The People’s Alliance party leader Sitiveni Rabuka says a PA-National Federation Party government will cancel all student debts and replace the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme and Toppers scholarships with full scholarships for all students in the country.
At a rally at the Fijian Teachers Association hall on Wednesday, he said the full scholarships for all students would be subject to bond conditions.
“Students will serve a bond equivalent to the number of years that they had been there attaining their educational qualifications in those institutions,” he said.
“They will work in Fiji for an average of three to four years in either private, public or even with non-governmental organisations in Fiji.
“Our comprehensive scheme will apply to all students equally.
“Students will be treated equally.”
Mr Rabuka also said a PA-NFP government would stand alongside all universities in the country – the University of Fiji, Fiji National University and the University of the South Pacific.
“These tertiary centres of academic excellence will be able to rely on us to respond to their needs.
“No government anywhere can afford to renege on a duty of honour to support its centres of higher education and academic pursuit.
“We’ve declared publicly that we will cancel debts of over half a billion dollars in student loans.
“This is because we do not want our university and tertiary students coming out with the massive financial burdens as they are just starting out their life.”
On USP, Mr Rabuka said a PA-NFP government would engage immediately with the university to settle issues.
“We will settle as quickly as we can the payment that Mr (Aiyaz) Sayed-Khaiyum has refused to release.
“We will arrange for the vice chancellor (Professor Pal Ahluwalia) to relocate from Samoa to Laucala campus where the vice chancellor should rightly be right from the day of inception of a university.
“There will be an apology from us to the regional governments, to Professor Ahluwalia, and to USP staff and students for the outrageous and divisive attempt of Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to repress our regional university.
“Then we will start to restore trust and confidence in Fiji and rebuild our regional reputation.”