QVS Head Stays

Queen Victoria School principal Silivio Vueti, who was supposed to be transferred last year following a bullying controversy at the school, is staying. In another major education development, former diplomat
19 Jan 2016 12:22
QVS Head Stays
New--QVS intake--reporter Luisa The principle Silivio Vueti (right) of Queen Victoria School in Tailevu interviews student Leone Bolaitamana (middle) and mum Raijieli Vakaloloma during the enrolment at school yesterday. pic.......RAMA

Queen Victoria School principal Silivio Vueti, who was supposed to be transferred last year following a bullying controversy at the school, is staying.

In another major education development, former diplomat Ben Salacakau is acting principal of Marist Brothers High School in Suva until Brother Terry Costello from New Zealand takes over in Term Two. Bro Costello is sick.

The significant events in two of the country’s top secondary schools were the big news of the beginning of Term One of the 2016 school year. School officially starts today.

Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy had ordered that Mr Vueti be transferred immediately in July last year when the school row broke out over bullying. The QVS Old Boys Association intervened and appealed that Mr Vueti be given a chance. Mr Reddy then allowed Mr Vueti to stay until the end of the year when another assessment would be made. He said then the row reflected the “shambles” found during an audit of schools. Mr Reddy is attending a conference in South Korea and could not be reached to comment.

Mr Vueti yesterday presided over the enrolment of new students for Year Nine under the new policy of giving preference to students from maritime and rural areas. Vice-principal Osea Koli said Mr Vueti was busy interviewing students and parents. He gave a mobile number to the Fiji Sun to call later and talk to him. But the phone was diverted last night.

Mr Reddy introduced the new entry policy in Government boarding schools QVS, Adi Cakobau School, Ratu Kadavulevu School and Natabua High School to allow the maritime and rural students to access a high standard of learning environment. Students from urban centres like Suva were encouraged to go to schools in their localities.

Before, students from elite families in the urban centres, usually children of ex-scholars, flocked to QVS.
Yesterday, a long queue had formed as students and parents waited to be interviewed by Mr Vueti.

Mr Koli could not say how many were maritime or rural students. He said only Mr Vueti could release the details.

The Fiji Sun was able to speak to five who expressed their gratitude for the new policy.

Emosi Koroi, 15, Year Nine, came all the way from Wairiki in Taveuni where his father teaches at the localprimary school. Originally his family is from Nasautoka, Wainibuka, Tailevu.

He said: “I am happy with the new policy. I will try my best to get on well with other students and study hard in order to make my parents proud. QVS is my dream school. I have always wanted to attend it.”

Another Year Nine student, Colin Tabakanalagi, 14, from Nabukelevu-i-ra, Kadavu, said: “I feel excited and at the same time feel a bit homesick as this is my first time away from home. I came to this school because I have always admired its past achievements. I hope to be one of its best students in the future.”

Sailasa Tura, 15, Year Nine, of Talaulia Village, Nabukelevu, Kadavu, said: “I miss my mum. She used to advise me everyday. I am with my father today. I am going to study hard and pass my exams.”

Brothers Nemani, 16, and Maika Yavitatoga, 17, both Year 11, come from Qalikarua Village, Matuku, Lau.

Speaking on their behalf, Nemani said: “I am happy to have my brother join me in QVS this year. Last year he was at

Lelean Memorial School.” He said they aimed to pass their exams this year and repay the trust and support of their parents.

New student enrollment for ACS will happen tomorrow.

At MBHS yesterday, students were talking about Mr Salacakau as the new head. Mr Salacakau declined to comment.

Mr Rupeni Tamani, manager Marist schools, confirmed Mr Salacakau’s acting appointment. He said Brother Costello would start in Term Two.

Mr Tamani said following a review over concerns about the decline in academic standards and discipline it was decided to bring in Brother Costello to reinforce the Catholic values. He said the principal’s post had now been privatised and no longer under the ministry.

He said they hoped that Mr Salacakau, who had been principal of some big secondary schools including Labasa College, before he was appointed Fijian High Commissioner to South Africa in Pretoria, would stay on and work with Brother Costello as part of a succession plan.


Edited by Naisa Koroi


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