Cabinet yet to decide on continuing students’ Xmas holiday

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The Cabinet is yet to decide on whether to bring in continuing students from Fiji for holiday or not but those graduating will certainly be brought home in December.

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Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Jimmie Rodgers speaking on behalf of the Oversight Committee this week says the issue of bringing continuing students back home or not will be decided by the Cabinet.

However he confirms that there will be about three flights to Fiji to bring in graduating students and one to PNG in early December.

Dr Rodgers says with more of the students returning from the Philippines in the coming months, December looks okay in terms of the availability of Quarantine centres as King George VI will become available for the returning nationals to use. KGVI can accommodate 173 persons in quarantine.

Meanwhile Dr. Rodgers explains that what the government is looking at is the cost of bringing the students home and sending them back again.

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He states that if the students return home then they will spend time in quarantine in Honiara, holiday for a while, then return to Fiji again where they will also be spending time in quarantine.

Dr. Rodgers says on both sides, the government will be meeting the costs of quarantine at home and in Fiji.

Besides that he adds, there will also be the cost on charters which is USD$75,000 (about $600,000). According to Dr. Rodgers, it costs the government $1,500 to keep one person in quarantine centre a day.

He says considering those factors, the government is also looking at the option of seeking approval from the universities and Fiji government to keep the ongoing students there and they pay them their allowances.

On graduating students, Dr. Rodgers says it’s a straightforward case they are finishing and they will be brought home.

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