28 Mar 2007

Samoa parliamentary report recommends end to government scholarships

1:49 pm on 28 March 2007

A Samoan opposition MP says the government needs to earmark more education funds to upgrade the country's higher education facilities.

A recommendation has been made by the Education Science Communication and Information Technology Committee in a report before Parliament, which suggests ceasing government-funded scholarships in a bid to save funds to upgrade the National University of Samoa.

Levaopolo Talatonu, the committee's chair who is a Samoa Democratic United Party member, says the NUS needs money to pay some of its bills for water and power.

He says saving money on government scholarships to study some courses locally instead of abroad is one option that should be considered.

"What I've said is to increase the capital money for the University as their intention was to reduce the expenditure for the two schools, the uni and the polytechnic but that didn't come true as they also wanted to upgrade the university. So how can they upgrade the university? They need more money."

Levaopolo says the committee's recommendation excludes scholarships from donor countries to study other subjects like medicine, abroad.

He says the government also needs to deal with the matter of the country's marine school, which was removed when the new Aggie Greys hotel by the airport was built by the airport, and has yet to be rebuilt.