GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIPS TO TARGET SPECIAL CHILDREN

After announcing the Government?s Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) from France yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama reminded Fijians that there was another new university scholarship scheme for underprivileged students who had grown up in special circumstances.

The Scholarship Scheme for Special Children (SSSC) is targeted at children who have grown up in the care of safe homes ? administered either by the State or by private institutions ? or have attended schools for children with special needs.

The scheme provides full scholarships for up to 20 qualifying students a year to pursue any course offered by a recognised higher education institution in Fiji.

The Prime Minister said that it was important to recognise that there are young people in Fiji who have grown up in very adverse conditions, and that these children needed special care and attention to provide them with an avenue for success in life.

?Many of these children were neglected or abused before coming to a safe home,? the Prime Minister said. ?Although they are provided with basic necessities through secondary school, after that they must fend for themselves, and many fall back into poverty.?

?These young people needed another option. It was absolutely critical that we put in place a scholarship initiative that recognises that they have grown up in special circumstances,? he added

Speaking today about the SSSC, Permanent Secretary for the PSC Parmesh Chand said that because many of these children are unable to meet the standard requirements and criteria for other scholarship initiatives offered by Government, the SSSC was developed to be as flexible as possible.

Applicants are not required to provide guarantors ? as many of these young people are without family ? and are free to pursue any course of their choosing. In order to qualify, an applicant must only have a letter of offer from a tertiary institution and be endorsed by the management of their home or school.

The Permanent Secretary urged the management of safe homes and special needs schools to familiarize themselves with the details of this initiative and to recommend SSSC scholarships to qualifying students and assist them with their applications.

Details of the SSSC scholarships have been advertised in the Fiji Sun.

The deadline for application for the current year is Friday 21st March, 2013.

Applications may be obtained from the Public Service Commission Scholarship Unit, 61 Camarvon Street, Suva, or me be downloaded from the Public Service Commission website: www.psc.gov.fj.

Further information may be obtained from Ms. Alumeci Korobiau, email: alumeci.korobiau@psc.gov.fj or from Mr. Nikotomo Rasei, email: nikotimo.rasei@govnet.gov.fj ; or by phone, 3316523/3316524/3316526/9906553; or by short code 5409 (9904030).

MINFO