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TELS Makes Devi the First Accountant in her Family

TELS Makes Devi the First Accountant in her Family
From left: Shaleshni Devi with her friends Navnita Kumari, Shanal Kumar, Twinkle Reddy and Shafiza Begum at the University of the South Pacific.
August 10
11:00 2018

Shaleshni Devi, 22, is indebted to the Tertiary Education and Loans Board (TSLB) for the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) as she is about to complete her university under­graduate programme.

Originally from Belego Settlement, Savusavu, in Vanua Levu, Ms Devi is the second youngest of three siblings.

With the help of the TELS scheme the last three years she is now on the final lap to complete her Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Hu­man Resource Management from the University of the South Pacific.

With a semester left she will be graduating in March next year.

“My ambition was to be a teacher or a doctor when I was small but I am surprised that I chose accounting as a field of study and I will be the first accountant from my family,” Ms Devi said.

Before TELS, the multi ethnic scholarship was awarded to students with who were not from an iTaukei background.

The condition of the multi ethnic scholarship was if one student from a family was awarded a scholarship; no other sibling was not eligible.

Miss Devi said that the TELS scholarship helped many Fijians to complete their tertiary education despite their racial or financial back­grounds.

She is the first in the family to study through the loans scheme for three years.

She completed her year 13 from Savusavu Sec­ondary School in 2015.

“My dad is already supporting my elder brother and sister with his FNPF funding which I knew would not be enough to cater for my degree pro­gramme so I applied for TELS,” Ms Devi said.

“TELS has assisted me in terms of the paying of rent, food and bus allowances,” she said.

“The TELS scheme is a great form of support for parents who are not financially able to sup­port their children and wish to see their children do well in future.

“Previously the scholarships were available for students to apply for with a certain mark criteria where most of the students did not get accept­ed; now through the loans scheme programme, many of the students can apply and join the uni­versities straight after high school.

“Before, some students could not complete their tertiary education due to financial difficulties but now families who cannot afford to pay for the tuition fees can apply for the loans scheme and continue with their tertiary educations.

“The loans scheme provides opportunities for all pursuing students to build their career better. I could say adjusting to the new life out on cam­pus and city, having being brought up in a small town surrounded by farms and animals, culture shock is a must.

“Some of the challenges I went through when I was new in the university was finding new friends and adapting to new places.

“I used to feel homesick at times, since it was the first time for me to be away from home, espe­cially from my mom.”

Her inspiration is her elder brother Uday Pras­ad, he had always motivated her to achieve her goals.

“Through thick and thin my parents along with my brother have walked with me shoulder to shoulder. My parents always say that nothing comes in your hand without hard work, believe in hard work and never lose hope in your life.

“I know I cannot pay them what they have done for me the least I can do is making them proud with my success.

She looks forward in joining any Chartered Ac­countant firm given that her major is account­

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