Some serious questions are being raised on the state of affairs of Pacific Polytech following the allocation of a million dollar to the tertiary institution in the 2023-24 National Budget.
FijiFirst MP and former Minister for Education Premila Kumar has queried why has the school been allocated funds in the budget when they did not have the assets and it is not clear where the institute is going to conduct all the trainings.
Responding to this question in Parliament last week, Minister Responsible for Education Aseri Radrodro had stated that the institute has been conducting their programs since they were registered in 2022.
Radrodro said that they were carrying out some of their programs even without this funding.
He said because of the need to produce more qualified trade skills and the programs that they carry out and the current labour skill shortages, the programs Pacific Polytech offer are competency-based training as compared to FNU trade certificate training.
“So these are short term programs that will be needed to fill up the job market.”
Also, the Minister confirmed that the process of procuring assets for Pacific Polytech is still ongoing for schools where teachings were discontinued.
Meanwhile, FijiFirst MP Hem Chand also put the Government on notice and questioned whether Pacific Polytech has been given the assets.
Radrodro still maintained that it is still work in progress and the transfer of assets is taking place.
The Opposition MP further questioned whether the Minister for Education was sure; Radrodro maintained that the transferring of the assets is in progress.
Also, Opposition MP Praveen Bala highlighted earlier that Pacific Polytech was initially given $1.3 million and this is not reflected in the 2023-2024 National Budget, and from that money the institution went and paid six months rental without getting any enrollment.
Bala questioned what sort of reputation are you talking about in this institution?
Questions have been sent to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance to clarify the matter.