26 Mar 2007

Kiribati government accused of cover-up of scholarship bungle

3:46 pm on 26 March 2007

The former chairman of the Parent Teachers Association in Kiribati, Dr Baua Tebau, has accused the government of an ongoing cover up over the findings of an inquiry into last year's controversial allocation of university scholarships.

The probe was called for after it became known that none of the students to pass the test was given a scholarship, while those who had failed the test were.

The outcome of a commission of inquiry into the 2006 scholarships that sent 18 students who hadn't qualified for degree programmes to study at the University of the South Pacific, has not been made public.

Dr Tebau says he doesn't see any reason why a report into scholarships is being kept confidential, unless there is something to hide.

"Parents follow up their kid's report, and then they're sort of shocked to say why is their daughter or their son is not eligible and yet they're making the grade all the time, and then some of my neighbour's kids have their kids awarded scholarships and they are nowhere near the marks. The University of the South Pacific knows that they are not eligible to be in because they don't pass the grades. So who sends them in the first place? It's so obvious."

Dr Baua Tebau says the findings of the inquiry, which was completed last July, is in a report that was given to the President's office.