I wanted to share this with you as I am really upset with the outcome from the Ministry of Education - myself along with many other local students currently studying in New Zealand who have received the same treatment or similar.
As per MOE Student Scholarship options, students can apply
for the full scholarship which includes return flights from Auckland to
Rarotonga. I understand it supplies a weekly allowance (up to $400), and a full
loan which is covered with requirements such agreeing to reside in Rarotonga
after completing studies for two years.
The second option is the Student Success Grant, which is
what I am/was on. This consists of 50 per cent of tertiary fees being reimbursed to
students at the end of each semester once paper(s) are passed and results are sent to MOE.
I arrived in Rarotonga on November 15, and was sent my
results two days later. Now I have been following up again and again
waiting to hear back/get reimbursement. On December 14 I received an email from
MOE saying: “Unfortunately, we are not processing any of the Student Success
Grants as our funds currently are not allowing for this. As we prepare
ourselves for the next half of the financial year, our committee is re-looking
at ways to better manage our Success Grant.”
This was really shocking to receive and upsetting, as this
reimbursement was an income I had been expecting for four weeks. This puts another
big financial struggle on me as I planned finances around receiving this
"grant" to support me into the next year.
My questions for MOE are:
-When was the ministry aware of this issue?
- Why was I and other students not notified?
- Have other students been advised?
- What exactly does “looking at ways to better manage our
success grant.” Mean?
- With no reimbursement for semester two, 2022, how are
students supposed to book their flights back to NZ to continue studying in
This type of situation along with others really shows the massive
development that the Cook islands Ministry of Education needs, to help young
Cook Islanders. Along with others who go to NZ to study and get qualifications
to come back and better our country, I am just so disappointed and angry with
I am now at the end of my studies so I am grateful to be
done with this process that has given me little support over my four studying
years. Living in NZ working two jobs Monday to Aunday to pay for my own flights
and support myself financially, only to end the Degree with this stunt from
I hope the newspaper does a story regarding this issue so
the people are aware of it.