Letters

Letters To The Editor, April 21, 2015

Boarding schools Pita Tagicakiverata,Nakasi   I write to you as a former principal of Queen Victoria School concerning the debate about the three prominent government secondary schools, namely ACS, RKS
21 Apr 2015 11:26
Letters To The Editor, April 21, 2015

Boarding schools

Pita Tagicakiverata,Nakasi

 

I write to you as a former principal of Queen Victoria School concerning the debate about the three prominent government secondary schools, namely ACS, RKS and QVS.

Queen Victoria School was established in the early 1900s for the sons of chiefs by the British colonial administrators.

The reasoning behind this was to educate young leaders, who would later be absorbed into the civil service and serve the people. The notion was that because of their chiefly status they would be effective leaders as people would readily follow their advice.

This was not unique to Fiji as there are equivalent schools in countries colonised by the British.

Things changed in the 1950s. Academically bright Fijian students regardless of their social status were also enrolled into QVS. This trend continued until my tenure as Principal of the school from 1994 – 1997.

My job in selecting students was easier then because we had the Intermediate Examination and Eighth Year Examination to help us select students for enrolment.

The Rabuka Government’s astute Minister for Education, Ms Taufa Vakatale, had specific instructions about the enrolment at QVS. This was to enrol 50 per cent of students from rural schools and 50 per cent of students from urban schools. This invariably resulted in lowering of the minimum entry marks to enable rural students to be enrolled, and to meet the 50per cent quota.

Each year, my list of students selected was submitted to the Minister for verification and approval. I wonder whether this process has changed.

I offer a few solutions to this problem:

1. Government has spent millions of dollars in establishing primary and secondary schools in rural areas, a commendable effort indeed. Government should continue to upgrade the schools with facilities to be on par with those in urban schools, including boarding facilities. This may reduce the number of parents bringing their children to schools in urban areas, in search of quality schools.

2. The Ministry of Education to bring back the Year 8 Examination so that there is a benchmark for principals to gauge the quality of students applying for places.

3. The Ministry of Education to select experienced, qualified principals and teachers to be posted in rural schools. This will require incentives. The excellent Year 12 pass rate of Cicia Secondary School is testament that rural schools can produce outstanding results if they are provided quality, dedicated teachers.

4. The Ministry of Education to increase the number of Education Officers at District level to ensure that rural schools are regularly monitored and supported.

In conclusion, I suggest that all stakeholders, government representatives, the opposition, old scholars and parents to sit together and discuss this in a sensible way for the benefit of all the students.

 

Ba soccer

Praneet Singh, Sacramento, California

I do not disagree with Mr. Sanjay Raniga regarding the perception that Ba soccer is given special favors by Fiji FA (FS 04/19).

However, the Ba team wins a lot too and brings in a lot of dough to the Fiji FA coffers.

Nonetheless the seeding for OFC was a screw-up of the highest order by Fiji FA officials.

Anyway you may get your wish in that Ba may not be taking part in next year’s OFC given their current league form.

That sure will give other teams to show their worth.

Hopefully teams representing Fiji can continue making to the semi-final so two spots are guaranteed for Fijian teams.

As of to-date, this guarantee has been only because of Ba Soccer’s success at this level, not because of Fiji FA’s handouts.

On the issue of the government stepping in, well that’s off the table. No government has powers over FIFA affiliates.

Try it if you want soccer to be shut down in the country.

Just ask Nigeria what happened when government officials fired football leaders after the last World Cup.

 




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