Friday August 22, 2014 - 1:02 am | Login

Port Vila Scholarship Scheme phases out to another level

Dr Howard Van Trease, Justice Minister and Port Vila MP Regenvanu and the Ministry of Justice’s 1st PA Arthur Faerua congratulate a Tebakor student (front) who was one of the last successful recipients of the PVSS.

The 12 successful applicants for Semester 2 of 2011 from the Port Vila Scholarship Scheme (PVSS) last Thursday are the last scholarship recipients under PVSS.

“This is the last set of scholarships to be awarded from the PVSS,” explained Minister of Justice and Community Welfare Ralph Regenvanu.

“Before the end of 2this year PVSS will be dissolved and in coming years I will be contributing an equivalent amount from my allocation for the same purpose (USP Foundation scholarships) to a new scholarship foundation which will be set up shortly.”

By the end of 2011, the PVSS, through the three year generous sponsorship of Port Vila MP Regenvanu will have sponsored 83 students in total at Vt1,718 100.

A breakdown of this is a total of Vt496,800 (2009) for all tuition costs for one unit each for 24 students taking Foundation-level courses.Vt683,100 for all tuition costs for one unit each for 33 students taking Foundation-level courses (2010) and Vt538,200 for all tuition costs for one unit each for 26 students taking Foundation-level courses (2011).

PVSS was born in 2009 when Minister Regenvanu initiated the Port Vila Scholarship Scheme by providing funds out of his 2009 Parliamentary Representation Allowance (“allocation”) to sponsor all tuition costs for the first lot of successful Foundation level students and was officially launched during the USP “Orientation Week” from the February 16-20 the same year.

PVSS has clear cut objectives to provide scholarships to fund a part of tuition fees for USP Foundation-level students resident in Port Vila, provide incentives for USP Foundation-level students resident in Port Vila to perform well academically, in order to qualify for a scholarship, assist USP Foundation-level students resident in Port Vila to complete their Foundation-level studies quicker and ease a “bottleneck” in human resource development in Vanuatu by targeting funding at the gap that exists between secondary school leaving qualifications and university entrance qualifications.

It was in early July that Daily Post reported that this semester’s awards marks the 6th semester that the program has been in operation and the last time that it will operate solely funded by the Justice Minister because he has been working to organise a larger scholarship scheme which will include donations by many individuals and organisations in Port Vila, especially from the business community.

The Minister will continue to donate the same amount from his parliamentary allocation, but by joining with other contributors, more funds will be coming from donors who cannot be linked to any particular politician or political party.