Letters To The Editor, 23rd October , 2016

Positive school zoning policy Amit Kumar, Suva I am writing to express my full support for the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy and what he said about
23 Oct 2016 11:00
Letters To The Editor, 23rd October , 2016

Positive school zoning policy

Amit Kumar, Suva

I am writing to express my full support for the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy and what he said about the school zoning policy.

However, the leader of National Federation Party and Opposition Member of Parliament, Biman Prasad, has clearly shown his bitterness towards Mr Reddy who has been doing wonders in Fiji’s education system which was neglected for decades.

The zoning policy has been there for years and I would like to pose a question to Mr Prasad: What were you doing in the past regarding this issue?

The Ministry of Education brought about the zoning policy after several consultations with various stakeholders before its implementation.

The policy helps reduce many problems and I think the Minister for Education is 100 per cent correct in his statements about it.

It encourages children to go to their nearby schools. It reduces overcrowding in urban schools hence, it will reduce traffic congestion.

The children will have good learning space, access to better learning resources, allows a sound student-teacher ratio for effective teaching and learning.

The teachers will be evenly distributed with load and more contact hours for teachers with these students also gives a fair assessment on all the teachers.

Further, it will save a lot of time for parents because children will be able to reach their school and home on time.

The children will have more productive hours of learning at home because they will not be tired after travelling.

Additionally, there won’t be travelling hassles during rainy or bad weather conditions.

Also, the increase in the roll of the rural schools will have a direct boost from the Government’s Free Education Grant money which can be utilised to improve the existing infrastructure.

Hence, Government’s dream to achieve a level playing field for all schools as far as teaching and learning are concerned are better utilised.

Mr Prasad has failed to understand about the rural-urban drift and how this zoning policy is holistically addressing such social economic issues. It seems to me that Mr Prasad’s ideas are getting out dated.


What he said

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori

Nemani Bainivalu, said on FBC TV ‘Many iTaukei boys roam around at night wasting time’.

Anyone who stands at the Suva Bus Stand at 6am on any Saturday morning and watches the hundreds of youth coming out of night clubs drunk and trying to get transport home would see that more than 80 per cent of them are iTaukei.

Whenever there is a festival, even though the programme concludes at 11pm, we will see youths still roaming the streets after 3am in the early hours of the morning, and they are mostly iTaukei.

If those protesting about Nemani’s statement have never seen this for themselves, then they are either blind or have one eye open.

They only see what they want to see while the other is closed and cannot see what is actually happening.


Thank you Neetal of Telecom Fiji

Kirti Patel, Lautoka

In this era, at times it becomes difficult to get good customer service.

But I must say, I am very impressed with the customer service of this particular staff member at the Telecom Fiji Limited office in Lautoka.

Not only was she friendly and approachable, but went the ‘extra mile’ by giving a satisfactory explanation.

I am taking into consideration the time limit because I had just reached the office before they were about to close for the day.

I appreciate this staff member’s patience and kind gesture in terms of helping out with a smile throughout the interaction.

Thank you Ms Neetal. I am very impressed. I hope other front desk staff members learn from you.

You are a good example. May god bless you!


Poor and poverty

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Canada

With all due respect to the Methodist Church deputy secretary general, Reverend Ili Vunisuwai. I tend to disagree with his statement that ‘being poor built a better relationship with God is totally false’.

From a Christian perspective, a true Christian who is fully surrendered to Christ will choose to live a poor life like Jesus, putting God first, others second and self, last.

The person will have just enough to live on and will bless the less fortunate with all the access blessings that flows his way.

My pocket dictionary defines poor as having little money or means, while poverty means lack of money and resources.

The definition for both words are similar, but we today we tend to regard a person or family who struggles to put food on the table to be in poverty.

Fijians, especially those who have land, iQoliqoli and other natural resources, may be classed as poor because there is hardly any money in their bank accounts, but they are certainly not living in poverty.

Reverend Vunisuwai is totally correct when he said God was the source of everything and there was no excuse for any iTaukei to be living in poverty.

We see all the different provinces in Fiji wisely using their resources to benefit all the members of the province and Government is helping out in its bid to eradicate poverty in Fiji.

When Christians become rich and only think of themselves, then they need to be worried because Christ is not number one in their lives and they would be in danger of missing eternity, if they do not get right with God.

Christians have the ability to eradicate poverty in Fiji if we all act as sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God and do what His true followers will do.

Matthew 25:34-40, (New Living Translation) says:

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?

Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’


Revaluing our money

Michael Chambers, Lautoka

Has it ever surfaced during any debate in Parliament that we should revalue our dollar?

The ripple effect might just be favourable for those earning below the poverty line.

Just a thought.

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