The Positive Response To Mahendra Reddy’s Reforms

Mahendra Reddy is a man on a mission. The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts is not flustered by his political detractors who are pursuing a propaganda campaign to discredit
16 Feb 2016 10:32
The Positive Response To Mahendra Reddy’s Reforms
Education Minister Mahendra Reddy

Mahendra Reddy is a man on a mission.

The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts is not flustered by his political detractors who are pursuing a propaganda campaign to discredit him and the reforms he is introducing.

While political opponents are busy circulating and spreading  negative comments about him, schools who have benefitted from his reforms are praising him and the Government.

A letter from Naikavaki College in Bua best escapsulates what Mr Reddy has been trying very hard to achieve.

On February 12, 2016, college manager Kamal Virenda Singh, wrote to Mr Reddy.

Mr Singh said: “I would like to acknowledge the effort of the Ministry of Education for all the initiatives in upgrading the facilities in rural schools.

“I am glad that people have realised that the new initiatives and reforms taken on board have made a marked impact in the teaching and learning process.

“Through the development grant in 2015, we have done improvements to most buildings having termite infestation. The immense support from the Ministry of Education is a morale booster for parents and the school management.

“I believe that the things which appeared to be impossible to happen in 10 years time are now happening in a short time span.

“It is not the time for us to talk about changes but to see actual changes which is taking place.

“For all this, I must thank all the directors, permanent secretaries and officials of the Ministry of Education for their concerted effort and the Minister for Education for his leadership. He has set the pace and only those who have the passion to deliver services and the desire to serve will coexist.

“Pouring funds to rural schools like ours will definitely reduce the disparity and make it easier for us to retain students till their complete their primary and secondary education. Improvement in the facilities empowers parents and makes them feel more confident to send their children to the nearest rather than opting for urban schools.

“I am pleased to say that in 2016, none of the students from Naikavaki College opted to join Labasa College or any other urban schools. The major renovation and the facelift done in 2015 has been an eye opener to many parents.

“Apart from that, the establishments of departments have further boosted the morale of the teachers taking up positions in rural schools. It does not help us to get experienced teachers, but it has built the confidence in the parents to send their children to the nearest school.

“While we knew that societies change with time, nobody was bold enough to bring reforms and implement changes because the majority of the leaders feared failure and nobody was ready to takes risks. We are thankful that we no longer use obsolete teaching materials for our current generations.

“The leadership of the Minister for Education is indeed a blessing to the nation as we have witnessed a marked improvement in all facets of learning and development.

“We have learnt from him that delivery of service is far much more important than our position and blunt words are simply blessings towards quality education.

“Everyone seems to be very positive that soon all our rural and maritime will be just like any other urban schools in Fiji.

“The extent of improvements seen in rural schools shows government’s effort towards quality education and it clearly reveals the commitment in making Fiji, a Knowledge based society.

“I would like to thank the Government of the day for giving first priority to education sector in terms of Budget and support.”

Mr Singh’s letter is one of several letters of gratitude from schools  to a minister who has done so much work in transforming the education sector into a more responsive unit – responsive to the needs of the people.

In the final analysis it’s the people who matter the most, not so much the bureaucrats and the politicians. And it should be because come 2018, they will decide who runs the Government. Mr Reddy, by all accounts, is heading in the right direction.

(Tomorrow: Reddy overcoming challenges to change old culture.).

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