Fiji Budget Debate: TELs change ‘selling out’ students

Parveen Bala MP (Photo: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook)

Fiji opposition parliamentarian, Parveen Bala says the government’s new scholarship system is “selling out of the principle of equal access to higher education, just to keep a badly thought-out election promise”.

Bala says while Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Biman Prasad is doing his job by keeping that promise, “he knows very well that schemes such as TELs are the only way to have a system that provides the most accessible means to higher education for all the people of Fiji.”

He further criticises the national budget as having “no policy initiatives on employment generation that are new or directed at specific targets or situations,”

Bala believes the government is creating more restrictions and red tape for investors.

Bala further argues there is no pathways or commitments in the budget to retraining or upskilling people to meet labour demands.

“This is a budget that will only pose more pain for all Fijians in their day-to-day lives,” he concluded.