NATION

Losalini Supports Need For Kia Students

Losalini Loloma vividly remembers crying in a bus because her parents could not afford to pay her tertiary fees. She was 19 and was not allowed to go for tutorials
29 Dec 2016 11:00
Losalini Supports Need For Kia Students
Losalini Loloma.

Losalini Loloma vividly remembers crying in a bus because her parents could not afford to pay her tertiary fees.

She was 19 and was not allowed to go for tutorials because she had not paid her fees. Ms Loloma was staying with relatives at the time.

“It was close to exam time and when I went for tutorials, I was not allowed in as my name had been included in a list with other students who had not paid their fees,” Ms Loloma said.

“It was my first year and first semester at the University of the South Pacific, and when  I contacted my parents, they said there was no money.

“I openly cried in the bus ignoring those judging eyes.”

But she said this did not stop her and years later she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Tourism and Real Estate.

“The issue was that fishing is our main source of income on Kia Island and when there is a bad weather, there is no money,” the Kia Island lass said.

Ms Loloma, who is now a Police officer, was among more than 500 Kia Islanders who converged on the island to raise funds for a scholarship fund.

A recent study done by Maleli Qera, the community co-ordinator for Community Centred Conservation and who had been residing on the island for six years, revealed that there was an average of three to four students from Kia Island who had dropped out of their tertiary education.

He said one of the main reasons was the lack of support from parents and financial constraints.

In a presentation, Mr Qera said that 40 per cent of students had dropped out of their tertiary studies.

The co-ordinator of the scholarship fund initiative, Jim Masiniqa, said it was high time that they create such fund to support their children on a tertiary level.

“There are a lot of potential students and we need to support them. We want them to realise that it is important to get an education so they can earn their living, and also provide funds to support them,” Mr Masiniqa said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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