Editorial: A renaissance in education

Selina and Aseri make a powerful combination that could drive the education sector in the much-needed direction it so deserves. 
22 Sep 2023 10:38
Editorial: A renaissance in education
Stakeholders at the National Education Summit in Denarau, Nadi, on September 20, 2023. Photo: DEPTFO News

The education summit that concludes in Nadi today is culmination of many positives.

It has been a pleasant element of surprise in what can be likened to an enlightenment of a group of people – and by accident at that.

The high-level three-day meeting brings to the fore a whole new appreciation of the varying challenges that plague the sector.

The carefully handpicked delegates – a 150-strong controlled yet deeply diverse set, each came with respective strengths.

Unlike previous summits, in any sector for that matter, this was not just another dogmatic talkfest. And it wasn’t discriminatory. In that sense, it was heartening for even the cynics.

Kudos to the Education permanent secretary, Selina Kuruleca, for the huge difference she made.


Whether or not she sees eye to eye with her line minister Aseri Radrodro, pales in comparison to the remarkable efforts demonstrated by the two on this occasion.

Selina and Aseri make a powerful combination that could drive the education sector in the much-needed direction it so deserves.

In them, the sector has high hopes; expectations they know, and trust will be met.

The recommendations that come out today are expected to reflect as much, if not more.

The two leaders of the education sector have set the benchmark as an exemplary duo, dynamic in their appreciation of what must now to done, to address the growing concerns of the education system.

When revelations emerge about gender disparity in jobs – where girls do better than boys in the workforce, or students who did well in school do not maintain the same disciplined momentum when they get into the workforce, or that 80 per cent of jobs in the country are technical and vocational-based – the eureka effect should be resounding.

But it’s not, because we have missed a few steps along the way.

A study is warranted to identify how we arrived at, and how to improve on, this.


That includes gender equality – and every other limitation or oversight – across the board.

For the first time in what may well be a very long time, mental health has made it to the table, this time in a big way.

Children these days are far more privileged than we were in our time, back when mental health was nowhere near an issue in schools.

It is perhaps drawing from that experience that we are now crossing the threshold to inculcate mental health of children for a more effective overall learning experience.

The gender and human values-approach to education – as opposed to the previous style of being industry-led – is edifying.

We have gone past the age of resilience, to become a renaissance in education.


Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj

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