Sunvoice

QVS To Start A New Life, Better Than Previous One

EDITORIAL: Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy has been consistent all along – that Queen Victoria School will reopen at the start of the new school year. Yesterday,
11 Jan 2017 07:45
QVS To Start A New Life, Better Than Previous One

EDITORIAL: Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy has been consistent all along – that Queen Victoria School will reopen at the start of the new school year.

Yesterday, he announced that school will officially open on Monday. That’s when 820 students should report to school for enrolment and classes begin the following day, on Tuesday.

The school kitchen is ready to cater for the students. It’s facilities that the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama wanted replaced, will be changed in due course. But the kitchen, with the old facilities, is operational, assures Mr Reddy.

The new school roll, the largest in the school’s history, will no doubt put added pressure on school facilities like the kitchen.

Mr Reddy says a Chinese company is doing reinforcements to the work done by the Indonesians.

The school quarters are ready. So when the new teachers move in, they will settle in quickly.

It appears from what Mr Reddy says, the school is ready to swing into action.

This is a significant year because the school is rolling out for the first time its new initiative on giving rural and maritime students the first chance to enrol.

Old students are returning after attending other schools for one year. The scheme is designed to give all Fijians a fair opportunity and to try to lift the standard of education for our rural and maritime students.

It’s an integral part of the education reforms that the Bainimarama Government has been implementing – giving everybody a fair go.

QVS, for a long time, had functioned with the support of the parents and old boys. It was in dire need of a major overhaul because the facilities were so old that they needed replacing.

Tropical Cyclone Winston did the school a favour by destroying many of the facilities, prompting a rebuild. The Adopt the School Programme initiative by the Government was a master stroke.

It attracted the Indonesians and they came here and did the school a big favour by repairing and rebuilding the major structures from the school chapel to the school block.

Mr Bainimarama saw that need in the school kitchen.

Mr Reddy says it will cost about $120,000 to replace the old kitchen. The old kitchen can still function normally, but it’s last days are numbered.

The facelift that the school is undergoing is a wonderful blessing. It took an act of God to bring about these remarkable changes.

While their assistance and sacrifice over the years are appreciated, the old boys and parents could not realistically afford the cost of the school upgrade because it would run into millions of dollars.

So the Indonesians’ labour of love is a great blessing. It has transformed QVS to a beautiful and modern complex that will be enjoyed in years to come by students and teachers.

The standard is a major step up from the school’s previous state and should be a source of pride for those who treasure its heritage.

Let’s be grateful for this and support the move to lift the school profile and standard.

Some of those who are criticising the current developments and Mr Reddy, are known opponents of the reforms and may be influenced by their political interests.

QVS needs a bipartisan approach. We leave aside politics and focus on restoring the school because it is a national treasure.

Over the years it has produced leaders and professionals who have contributed immensely to the growth of this nation.

Mr Reddy has given the all-clear. So parents need to prepare their students to register on Monday and start classes on Tuesday. They need not listen to other voices which are talking about shifting the re-opening to the second term.

Let’s do what is in the best interests of the students. Mr Reddy is doing it despite the opposition. And QVS is ready to start a new life, better than the previous one.

 

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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