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Medical Students Welcome $10k

The initiative was to assist students after the government had suspended Toppers and Tertiary Education Loan Scheme funding in the last two financial years for MBBS following an oversupply of Fijian Doctors based on the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health’s doctor-patient ratio.
18 Feb 2022 11:39
Medical Students Welcome $10k
Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Service (TSLS) medical students who are grant recipients (from left), Anishil Kumar, Rihan Ali and Shifaz Ali with the acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the FNU Pacifika Campus on February 16, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The $10,000 one-off grant given by the Government to 42 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) private students has been described by its recipients as a source of renewed hope.

Medical student grant recipient Shaniya Shah (left), with mother, Shamina Khan, at FNU Campus on February 16, 2022.  Photo: Ronald Kumar

Medical student grant recipient Shaniya Shah (left), with mother, Shamina Khan, at FNU Campus on February 16, 2022.
Photo: Ronald Kumar

Shaniya Shah

Recipient Shaniya Shah, 19, said the grant would enable her to keep pushing on with her studies despite the many difficulties she had encountered in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I feel very grateful. It is new hope and it will help me a lot to pursue my education,” she said.

“My dad is self-employed and during the lockdown he hardly earned any income, thankfully my mom continued working.

“My parents have always been very supportive with my education, in fact my father had told me that if he was to sell whatever he has for my education he would do it happily, he just wants me to realise my dreams.”

The grant was part of the Government’s initiatives outlined in the 2021/2022 National Budget for first year MBBS students.

The initiative was to assist students after the government had suspended Toppers and Tertiary Education Loan Scheme funding in the last two financial years for MBBS following an oversupply of Fijian Doctors based on the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health’s doctor-patient ratio.

Ms Shah said as soon as the grant was announced, she had worked hard to ensure that she met the criteria to become one of the recipients.

She was thankful to her parents and the Government for an opportunity that would help students like herself stay on track in realising her dreams.

Finau Waqairadovu receives her grant letter from the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: DEPTFO News

Finau Waqairadovu receives her grant letter from the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: DEPTFO News

Finau Waqairadovu

Another recipient Finau Waqairadovu said the grant would benefit her education tremendously.

“As a medical student, there are 1000-plus things to remember about the human body and this 10k grant would have been one less thing to worry and stress about,” she said.

“Especially since there are no longer any scholarships available for MBBS. Also, since I am a private student, this would’ve also helped my parents out tremendously. This $10,000 grant would’ve helped lessen the financial burden.”

She encouraged youths who wished to pursue this career to not be discouraged and work hard as nothing was impossible.

“All you have to do is to put God first. I know everyone has heard about this famous line but there really is power to it.

“Back in high school, I wasn’t a top student myself, but I prayed every morning and night for God to help me with my studies and He did just that. My final year in secondary school was the hardest one, but if it wasn’t for Him, I don’t think I would’ve gotten the marks I received and come this far.”

Medical student grant recipient Shifaz Ali (left), with his mother, Shyreen Nisha, at FNU Campus on February 16, 2022.  Photo: Ronald Kumar

Medical student grant recipient Shifaz Ali (left), with his mother, Shyreen Nisha, at FNU Campus on February 16, 2022.
Photo: Ronald Kumar

Shifaz Ali

Twenty-year-old Shifaz Ali said he was delighted and thanked the Government for the opportunity.

“I believe this is a booster for everyone and parents as well as we know because of the COVID pandemic most of the families were affected, so this is a relief.

“Being a private student is hard for many struggling parents and to receive this grant is a very huge deal for us.”

University of Fiji’s Umanand Prasad School of Medicine and Health Sciences  second year MBBS student, Tomasi Tabuamovi, on February 16, 2022.  Photo: Salote Qalubau

University of Fiji’s Umanand Prasad School of Medicine and Health Sciences second year MBBS student, Tomasi Tabuamovi, on February 16, 2022.
Photo: Salote Qalubau

Tomasi Tabuamovi

Umanand Prasad School of Medicine and Health Sciences second year student Tomasi Tabuamovi echoed similar statements. He said he was grateful for the grant.

“I’m really honoured for this grant the Government gave to us because even though we have the Covid-19 situation in Fiji, with this grant it will assist me with my studies. I will choose which field to specialise in after doing my clinical in year four.”

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