Letters

Letters To The Editor, January 10th 2018

Testing teachers Christopher Griffin, Perth, WA Last week (FS 3/1) I questioned why new teachers were being tested for English when their language proficiency was something we should have been
10 Jan 2018 15:09
Letters To The Editor, January 10th 2018

Testing teachers

Christopher Griffin, Perth, WA

Last week (FS 3/1) I questioned why new teachers were being tested for English when their language proficiency was something we should have been able to take-for-granted. I further asked why the ministry saw fit to spring the test?

As we now learn nearly half of the 3250 applicants failed this test (FS 8/1),  the answers to those questions are now obvious.

The test was set because the ministry had known for some time that things were amiss with tertiary teacher-training and graduation. Simply put, too many students were graduating who were not up to the job. Far from going-forward teaching and learning was seen to be going backwards.

Less certain than the above, perhaps, it may also be that lower entry requirements into teaching, combined with a growing demand for teachers brought about in part by the compulsory retirement age of teachers at 55, resulted in more entering the profession than there were vacancies to fill. Culling was called for.

Be that as it may, this week’s results raise some serious concerns. First, whatever has gone wrong in teacher-training has occurred under the watch of the previous Minister of Education. Second, though the test applies only to new graduates (among whom these shortcomings have been found) one remains wondering how many ill-equipped individuals have already passed into the ranks of the teaching profession or for that matter into the administrative cadre. Third, news that those who failed the test will be allowed to re-sit is unlikely to lift the status of teachers and the hopes of students, parents, and society at large.

Better teachers

Dharmendra Kumar, Suva

Graduate teachers failing English exams is just unbelievable.

It’s like teaching someone how to fish when you have never caught one. I am glad that the ministry has identified this problem and now in the process of rectifying it.

One question that comes into my mind is the quality of graduates coming out of our universities. Are assignments still being copied to get the required grades? It seems so.

The quality of graduates is declining hence a major review must be done by all stakeholders.

I am glad that the Government is weeding out slackers from the civil service and getting the best.

Contracts are fully justified.

Party turmoil

Amenatave Yaconisau, Suva

I refer to your article titled ‘Tabuya Turmoil’ (FS 9/1) where the now suspended People’s Democratic Party (PDP) former leader has been endorsed by SODELPA to others tension.

How can we have such representatives in Parliament who can change colours once elected?

The election promises of the accommodating parties is likely to fall into the background if they want to establish some form of coalition.

By what we read, there is certainly a lack of democracy procedures in regards to expression of views of SODELPA members for the ‘new’ members.

This does not unify the political process if politicians join hands simply to take power. Like changing underwear’s without consulting supporters.

Not good for Fiji.

Healthy living

Spencer Robinson, Suva

Now that the festive season of 2017 and the New Year celebrations are over or perhaps phasing out, the next goal is working towards losing weight especially trimming down those ‘belly fats.’

Generally, the festive season and the new year is perhaps the most observant period where a majority of the population are engaged into ‘adlib feeding’ or ‘unrestricted eating’ – signifying the celebration and excitement of the occasion.

The fact that the Pacific is known for living and surviving communally, the sharing of food among family, friends and neighbors is the ‘glue’ that bonds us together.

Apparently most of my colleagues’ New Year’s resolution is to lose weight to support healthy living which I proudly support. Therefore, my motivative phrase for us is to ‘eat sensibly and exercise regularly’ and this includes reducing kava and alcohol intake and working towards the challenging part of ‘stop smoking.’

All in all, nothing is impossible because it’s all about having a ‘positive mental attitude.’ Best wishes to everyone!

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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