Tertiary Students Make Case For Vote Choice

Two tertiary students, one of them a first-time voter, have decided who they will cast their ballots for in next month’s general election. They have also set out their reasons
31 Oct 2018 12:08
Tertiary Students Make Case For Vote Choice
Kula Naqicatabua (left), with Jese Taganeca after their exams at FMF Gymnaisium, Suva. Photo: Swashna Chand

Two tertiary students, one of them a first-time voter, have decided who they will cast their ballots for in next month’s general election.
They have also set out their reasons for voting the way they will.

Foremost on their minds is the assistance in education and other areas.

Kritansha Kumar, a first-time voter and student at the University of the South Pacific, says her vote will be for the FijiFirst party because it has done many great things for Fiji and its citizens.


Kritansha Kumar

Kritansha Kumar


“This Government has done free education, social welfare, better infrastructure, more development leading to more job opportunities,” she said.

Ms Kumar is currently doing her exams for her 2nd year and is studying for a double major in accounting and finance under the National Toppers Scholarship.

“I would like to thank the Government for doing a lot for us,” she said.

“Before there were no good benefits for students and now all students are able to study because of TELS loans scheme.”

Ms Kumar said she hoped FijiFirst won again because it promised many more things that would benefit students.

“I just want the Government to offer more scholarship to study abroad,” she said.

“TELS loans are helping those who are average or below average students because otherwise they would have been left idle and they wouldn’t get a chance to be educated.
“University of the South Pacific (USP) fees are also very expensive so TELS reduces a student from being burden to their family.”

Ms Kumar said that if she didn’t get the toppers scholarship she wouldn’t be able to afford her fees on its own or she would had to look for a part-time job and get support from her parents to study.

“Right now we are able to do four units per semester and if there was nothing then we would be trying to raise money to do one or two units and end up finishing a three-year course in five to six years.”

Another USP student who sat for her economics paper yesterday, Sainiana Tukana, said she had always supported FijiFirst and would continue to do so.

Ms Tukana is currently doing a certificate in official statistics at USP.
“I am voting for FijiFirst because Fiji First is the first government that has done what they promised us.


Sainiana Tukana

Sainiana Tukana


“They have done well in terms of education and bus fare free for the children and elderly people. The elderly people get $100 per month, like my grandmother, which is a very good initiative by the Government,” she said.

Ms Tukuna said she had three kids, of which two are schooling and one is married.

“I hope TELS is still there so my eldest daughter can complete her studies,” she said.

FijiFirst has my vote: Law student
A final year law students said he would vote for FijiFirst on November 14 because he loved their policies.

Jese Taganeca, heaped praises for the Government’s TELS scheme adding that it had provided him an opportunity to further his studies.
“I am on TELS and I am very thankful that we even have this scheme. If it wasn’t for TELS then I believe I would still be in the village planting Kava and waiting for another three years for it to harvest,” he said.

“I am voting for FijiFirst because it the party represents the ordinary people. I am tired of hearing people complaining about TELS. First of all, it’s voluntary and the Government does not force you on TELS.

“You came voluntary, you know that it’s a loan and you are going to pay it back soon, so people need to take responsibility and pay it back.”

He describes the other race-based scholarships as “very bad” adding that “…policies based on race or identity is not a good policy for the general public in terms of equality.”

Mr Taganaeca said the current Government had done many good things for the elderly, students and disabled people.
As for minimum wage, Mr Taganaeca thinks it could be made possible, but there were risks attached.

“For example, if you going to raise minimum wages, it’s going to raise the cost of labour as well,” he said.
“I am not against it but if there is a proper plan or study to be done on how to increase it without affecting others, especially our local industries, then we should try it.

“For now I am somewhat content with the current minimum wage, but an increase would be nice if there has been a study or research done to support it.”


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