NATION

TELS Keeps Mule’s Dream Alive

Tertiary education was not even an option for 21-year-old Saula Mule until the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) came about. He was among youths who turned up for the FijiFirst
30 Oct 2018 12:02
TELS Keeps Mule’s Dream Alive
Youths, mostly tertiary students, with FijiFirst party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, standing 9th from left, at the rally at the FMF Gymnasium on October 29, 2018. Standing first from left is FijiFirst Youth wing president Naziah Ali Photo: Simione Haravanua

Tertiary education was not even an option for 21-year-old Saula Mule until the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) came about.

He was among youths who turned up for the FijiFirst rally at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva yesterday evening.

“Back in high school I didn’t even dream about tertiary education,” he said.

“I had thought that after my Year 13, I will go back to the village and perhaps start farming.”

Mr Mule is a first-time voter and is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Land Management and Geography at the University of the South Pacific.

Among those at the rally was 18-year-old Christine Dawn Kiniboi who is aspiring to pursue higher studies in tourism next year.

The teenager from Rewa is counting on the Tertiary Scholarships Loan Board (TSLB) schemes to get through university.

“Government’s free education and bus fare schemes have helped us students a lot in school,” she said.

Ms Kiniboi added that she would be attending as many campaigns as possible to learn enough to be able to make an informed decision come November 14th.

Apart from education, minimum wage seems to be the biggest concern right now as was expressed by Vikash Achary.

“The Government can increase minimum wage to $5, but at the end of the day it is not the Government paying the wages, it is the private sector,” he said.

Coming from an accounting and finance background, Mr Achary said that this Government was showing responsibility by not incorporating sudden increases in the minimum wage.

“They are not lashing out as the others are doing,” he said.

“I can’t see much of new initiatives from the other political parties.”

Youths had the opportunity to voice their concerns and Priyanka Mannu had questions of her own for party general secretary and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum when she came for the rally yesterday. Ms Mannu was under the misconception that the A-G was too busy to release payments owing to contractors working for the Ministry of Waterways.

“I came in with a heavy heart but I am so happy that I came and sorted things out,” she said.

“The Attorney-General was really helpful, he clarified that he has been signing off on RIE’s (Requisition to Incur Expenditure) and directed me to the right person and I will see where it goes from there.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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