NATION

Education Revolution In Our Midst

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in the FBC TV programme, 4 The Record   I will speak on the education revolution that is happening in
18 Jul 2016 08:05
Education Revolution In Our Midst
Nelson Mandela's words on Educations

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in the FBC TV programme, 4 The Record

 

I will speak on the education revolution that is happening in our midst.

This week I witnessed the handing over of a boat and outboard engine plus desks, chairs, school bags, books and stationery to Vutia District School in Rewa. This is in addition to financial assistance to build a new school toilet block, dining room and roof maintenance.

I received my primary education at this school and so it has a special significance for me.

But what touched me profoundly was the joy, excitement and gratitude shown by the villagers. As far as I can remember this is the first major donation to the school by any Government.

It gave the villagers great hope for the future education of their children. It also assured them that they are not forgotten.

For many years they thought they were forgotten. They were called upon from time to time to make sacrifices for school development. Today their burden has been lightened because of Government grants and assistance.

This scenario is replicated right across the country as Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy and his team take education development to the people, particularly to rural schools.

Primary schools are important because they provide the foundation of a child’s formative years of education.

A solid primary education sets the platform for the progress of a child  from primary to secondary to tertiary level.

Mr Reddy is implementing the vision of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst Government about an educated and smart Fiji.

The assistance to address essential school needs is aimed at lifting the standards in the rural and maritime schools to be on par with urban schools.

The other major developments include the setting up of more technical colleges.

They are part of an education revolution that is sweeping the country. The free tuition from pre-school to secondary school, free school bus fares, free milk, free textbooks, Toppers and TELS schemes all contribute to this revolution.

With this substantial reduction in the cost of education it is only logical to expect that parents will take advantage of this incentive to ensure that all their children attend school and later attain qualifications at tertiary levels.

There really is no excuse. That brings me to the question about accountability. If a child fails to attend classes at school who is responsible? Obviously the parents. But because education is not compulsory, it can be a challenge trying to influence people to send their children to school.

Some students may become disillusioned after they fail Fiji Junior or even the Fiji School Leaving or Year 13. There is still hope for them. As long as they are 15-years-old they can enrol in one of the technical colleges for trade certificate training in many fields.

Once they attain any of this they can progress to diploma by enrolling in larger institutions. From there they can go higher and qualify for high paid jobs.

The whole education strategy makes sense. It ensures that no child in left behind in this education revolution.

The Government has invested millions of dollars in education. The onus is on all of us to take education seriously and take advantage of the opportunities provided.

Education is a cornerstone of national development. Unless we treat it seriously, it will slow our growth.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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