TELS Response to the Fiji Times

The Attorney General and Minister for Economy’s claim that some political parties are promising  free Tertiary Education is garbage as far as the National Federation Party is concerned.

He should specifically point out which political party is promising free tertiary education because the NFP has never made such a promise.

In fact it is the AG who is  uttering nonsense. He has also admitted that some students who have not repaid their loans. This is despite the strict albeit unfair and discriminatory condition of placing all students on travel ban, requiring them to get approval from TELS Board or even FRCA to go abroad.

From March 2014, the NFP has clearly and unequivocally stated that the TELS scheme is unfair where deserving students miss out on scholarships and students who do qualify are told to choose programs different from what they prefer.

For the last four years we have advocated for a means tested scheme  that will  benefit students from poor families. The AG knows tool well that in March he suggested changes to the loan repayment policy after  the issue was raised by the NFP through a question in Parliament.

The means tested scheme will be part of a comprehensive policy and package for TELS that will not be matched by any other party including Fiji First.

So the AG should wait for our manifesto instead of misleading and hoodwinking voters.

Professor Biman Prasad

NFP Leader