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What is Good for Apia is also good for Savaii!
"O le mea e lelei i Apia, e lelei foi mo Savaii"

Jul 17

Don’t go off course, PM tells scholars

By Tupuola Terry Tavita

Don’t go off course, PM tells scholars

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi did not mince words when he farewelled scholarship students last week.

“There have been far too many incidents of waywardness, drunkenness, fighting with Tongan and Fijian students, promiscuity among girls and other bad habits scholarship students get up to.”

“We were there and we know what it’s like. There are no new tricks under the sun.”

To the girls, the Prime Minister said,

“Concentrate on your studies and refrain from seeking boyfriends. You can throw all your hard work away – and the dreams of your parents – in just one moment of sheer stupidity.

“Be smart and protect what makes you a young lady.”

To the boys;

“Stay away from alcohol and picking fights with Tongan and Fijian students. Far too many of you have lost this opportunity because of alcohol-induced madness.”

The parents also have their job cut out for them, said the Prime Minister.

“Be in constant contact with your children. Call them up and talk to them. Ask how they’re doing and if there are any problems. You have to be vigilant. Don’t let them go.”

The Prime Minister said government is also doing its part to ensure students stay in the straight and narrow.

“There are student counsels who closely monitor student performances. They are also there to help them out if they have any problems. They also report back to government.”

The Prime Minister advised the scholars to get their degrees quickly and return home.

“There are some students who take ages to finish a degree. They aim for the minimum pass requirement to maintain their scholarships and end up spending six years to get a three-year degree. The job market here has become very competitive and those sort of marks will not get you anywhere.

“Then there are others who move from one degree to another. They finish one degree and start on another one. Before they know it, they’ve spent all their working lives at university accumulating all these qualifications without any hands-on experience whatsoever in the workforce. That’s not good. Get your first degree out of the way then come home and serve. There will always be time and opportunity to do a post-graduate degree if you do well in the public service or private sector.”

To those who have graduated, the Prime Minister said,

“There are too many rolling stones in the public service. Graduates who move from one job to another chasing a higher pay. That’s not the way to go. Stick to one job that interests you and then climb the ladder. That is the only way you can get to senior positions and earn higher salaries.”

Over 40 students from the National University’s Preparatory Year have successfully attained scholarships and placements at universities and in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji this year.

Author: Tupuola Terry Tavita
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