Letters To The Editor, January 9th 2018

English Test Results Shock Pramesh Sharma, Suva I refer to the article in the, FS 8/1, on the English Proficiency Test which resulted in a failure rate of 50% by
09 Jan 2018 15:26
Letters To The Editor,  January 9th 2018

English Test Results Shock

Pramesh Sharma, Suva

I refer to the article in the, FS 8/1, on the English Proficiency Test which resulted in a failure rate of 50% by new applicants for teaching. Only 1627 passed from the 3250 applicants who sat the test.

The new applicants were mostly new graduates and those that were keen to get into the teaching fraternity. The test was simple multiple choice. This is rather concerning and reflective of the education system.

Can we not reinstate the old New Zealand School Certificate and University Entrance curricula into the education system? At least there was some structure towards learning and development.

It seems that the lack of a consistent approach and emphasis on the English language at secondary schools is now resulting in such disgraceful outcomes.

Those that failed should not feel low or defeated; it is the education system that needs a radical change that will allow students to understand the importance of being educated properly.

The Government has provided all the basics for people to be educated but if the resultant of all these initiatives is that we cannot get our children to pass basic English tests, especially after graduating; a question arises; are we doing the right thing?

I would urge the Education department to further publicise which tertiary institutions these students graduated from as this will give an indication where the failures are coming from?

Secondly, I urge the Minister responsible to get the current teachers to also sit similar tests and publish results for the comfort of the parents at large.

The Noble Profession

Tukai Lagonilakeba, Nadi

It was revealed by the media today (FS 8/1) that there was a total of 3250 applicants for the vacant 2545 positions for teachers to fill going into the 2018 school year.

Also, more than half of the teachers who sat for the English Proficiency test conducted by the Ministry of Education failed.

The outcome has convinced the majority of Fijian school parents why our children from pre-school up to Year 8 in our primary institutions are failures and not good in the English language.

Or is it the mixed combination of iTaukei, Hindu, Urdu and kailoma Fijian English to blame.

What we don’t know is the breakdown in the numbers of passes and failures.

Where will these teachers teach?

Will they all fill the primary schools teaching positions or does it include teaching at our many secondary schools around the country.

Can the Ministry of Education give the Fijian public a breakdown for the 2545 positions?

Are the applicants new to teaching or, are they currently teachers in other schools?

The majority of parents are proactive with their children from  early childhood upbringing in getting them to read and attend private tutoring to prepare them from Year 1 onwards.

But a majority of parents lack in this area for many reasons.  We all expect our teachers to be proficient and do the right thing by getting our children to be on par.

The figure of 1627 or 50 per cent failurein the test is just the tip of the iceberg.

It is a very disappointing truth but we are thankful to the ministry for implementing such an exercise.

Most parents will scold their child because they are not good in English and Mathematics.

Parents must also perform their side of the bargain and not put undue stress on the qualified teachers.

I would like to urge the ministry to also carry out a Mathematics test on those who teach the subject.

I urge Iowane Tiko, our Permanent Secretary for Education, to go a step further and give the teachers who failed the opportunity to be trained in our local tertiary Institutions in order for them to become proficient in the English Language.

It takes years of sacrifices to obtain experience in the noble profession,.

Let’s nurture them to become great assets to our children in all our educational institutions throughout the country.

I believe it will be a disservice and an injustice to terminate their employment just because they have failed one subject.

Give them the opportunity to teach the subjects they are well qualified in. Our small island nation requires the expertise of all our working Fijians in moving our country forward.

We are moving in the right direction through this exercise but I wonder what the SODELPA, National Federation Party, Fiji LabourParty and Unity Fiji Party will have to say that is relevant to the positive move by our Education Ministry.

ATS Saga

Amenatave Yaconisau, Delainavesi

I’m surprised the supporters of the ATS Stand-off have been given the permit to march in Nadi (FS 8/1) after the Minister for Labour, Employment, and Industrial Relations Minister’s decision that it is an illegal strike.

Maybe it’s their freedom to assemble under Section 18 of the Constitution and, to associate with anyone.

It’s good to see the Prime Minister offer to mediate between the disputing parties.

I am sure he will be impartial and fair with a lot of compromise made and an agreement reached in the end.

As it is the model replicates militancy, non-consultancy, and non-participation that is not good for national interest. Perhaps someone should look into it.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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