2 Oct 2006

Kiribati scholarship bungle leads to unfair dismissal - report

3:02 pm on 2 October 2006

The president of the Parent Teachers Association in Kiribati Dr Baua Tebau says people in the education ministry have unfairly lost their jobs over the government's controversial allocation of university scholarships.

This year, 18 students were selected who hadn't qualified to enter degree programmes at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji while other students who had made the grade were overlooked.

A commission of inquiry into the scholarship allocation was completed in July and a report was given to the president, but the findings have not been made public.

Dr Tebau says one education officer who saw the original list of students that had qualified for degree programmes is among others who have since been dismissed.

"But this list is totally different from another list which is made by some other people. And these people are higher up in the ladder. And they tell him this is the new scholarship list but this is not the real true list as far as this chap is concerned. He made it public and this man is laid off."

Dr Tebau says the PTA is now seeking legal advice before taking further action and he says the organisation has been labelled anti-government.

He says the government has begun the scholarship selection process to select scholarship students for next year.