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RKS Head Stood Down For Allegedly Administering Corporal Punishment

RKS Head Stood Down For Allegedly Administering Corporal Punishment
Ratu Kadavulevu School (RKS) principal Peni Senikarawa (left) with the victorious RKS Under-18 rugby team after winning the Sanix World Rugby Youth Tournament in Japan on Saturday.
May 07
15:43 2018

The principal of Ratu Kadavulevu School (RKS), Peni Senikarawa, has been stood down pending investigations over corporal punishment claims.

Mr Senikarawa is on full pay and stays at his quarters in the school compound, in Lodoni, Tailevu. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that the files was now with the Office of Public Prosecutions.

This followed Police and Ministry of Education investigations.

The case has been traced back to March this year when some students verbally attacked a teacher who tried to stop them vandalising a wall in one of the school buildings.

It is understood, Mr Senikarawa tried to discipline the group by allegedly applying corporal punishment.

One of the students, however, lodged a complaint with the Ministry for Education.

Because corporal punishment has been outlawed, the ministry reported the matter to the Police.

Mr Senikarawa received his letter of suspension from the Director Education during the opening of the Legal Aid Office in Korovou last month.

Many students, teachers, parents and former students, impressed by the significant, positive turnaround in terms of academic and sporting achievements, want Mr Senikarawa reinstated to complete his term. He retires next year when he turns 55.

Mr Senikarawa, a former student of RKS, has been credited for instilling discipline and restoring pride back into the school environment.

Mr Senikarawa went to RKS from Tailevu North College in 2015.

He has lifted the school to a new level with the school’s academic results and sporting achievements.

His commitment and loyalty to the school was shown when he paid his own way to cheer for the RKS Under-18 rugby side at the Sanix World Youth Tournament in Japan. RKS became the first Fijian school to win the title, thrashing New Zealand’s Hastings Boys High School 35-5.

Mr Senikarawa is understood to have been with the team since last month, the RKS athletics team won the Coca-Cola Games boys title after 21 years.

They are the current schools’ rugby league champions and the coveted schools’ rugby union Deans Trophy holder.

It is understood that students would love to see him back with his inspirational leadership to lead them into another academic term before the external examinations and into the final sports events such as the Deans Trophy defence.

The Ministry of Education has previously stated that there is a no-drop policy on corporal punishment.

Permanent Secretary for Education Alison Burchell said she was abroad and would respond to questions emailed to her.

She had not responded when this edition went to press.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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