By WALLACE KIALA
THE Office of Higher Education (OHE) is liaising with the Education Department to ensure that the best students are identified and offered places in tertiary institutions, director Dr William Tagis said yesterday.
Commenting yesterday on growing complaints from parents that better students were missing out on university places, Dr Tagis said steps were being taken to improve consultation between the two institutions on this matter.
Also yesterday, Education Minister Michael Ogio told a media conference that the he had given instructions that the Tertiary Education Students Assistance Scheme (TESAS) selection fiasco must not be repeated.
Dr Tagis said OHE was liaising with the Education Department to refine and speed up the transfer of Grade 12 national results by the Measurement and Standards Unit (MSU) in sufficient time for them to select the best for further tertiary studies.
He said under the improved arrangement, OHE would have prior knowledge of student candidates for Grade 12 exams, the number of students qualified to sit for exams, prompt access to Grade 12 results, and other relevant (MSU) information at least one month in advance.
Dr Tagis said university vice-chancellors would be meeting with the OHE this month to discuss this, among other issues.
This year, the Government this year awarded 3,200 scholarships under TESAS.
At yesterday’s media conference, Mr Ogio said it was unfair that so many bright students who could have been offered a Government scholarship under TESAS, had simply missed out “because of the continuous inconsistency among selectors over the years”.
“This has been going on for far too many years and I will not tolerate it as it an injustice to our
young people who will be future professionals in the public service and leaders of this country,” he said.
Mr Ogio said last year’s selection outcome was in some way due to confusion emanating from two conflicting lists used by the selectors comprising the Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), which included all the universities and other OHE affiliated tertiary institutions, and the Education Department’s MSU.
OHE found that the process was rushed, leaving some institutions not making necessary adjustments to their selection list which resulted in students scoring Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 and above missing out completely.