Letters

Letters To The Editor, 28th January 2018

Testing teachers Fergus Garrett, Marist Brothers, Vatuwaqa The universities complain of students’ poor English. The ministry tests them to see how to improve the standard through in-service “professional development” sessions.
28 Jan 2018 15:19
Letters To The Editor, 28th January 2018

Testing teachers

Fergus Garrett, Marist Brothers, Vatuwaqa

The universities complain of students’ poor English. The ministry tests them to see how to improve the standard through in-service “professional development” sessions.

Nowhere do I see any concern for oral communication, which is the main part of teaching and learning. UNESCO has published a paper, “If they don’t understand, how can they learn?” Some of our students go to China and do well after a long period of language study, oral and written. But here in Fiji, in all levels from primary to tertiary, they seem to struggle. How can the ministry test oral English?

This is a one-to-one exercise that is essential for knowing the standard of communication and improving it. There are many teachers who speak too quickly, who confuse “work” and “walk” etc., who say “Is that clear?” and get a (false) affirmative answer.

The teaching of phonics at the earliest stage of acquiring the 52 sounds of English would seem to be essential.

A teacher’s right

Farina Hassan,  Navua

In this era of human rights, criminal offenders are even assured that they will be protected and their welfare looked after.

Everywhere around human rights is ringing bells in the mind, that you will be assisted, defended and protected. But for teachers responsible stakeholders have even forgotten that teachers are human beings with normal lives and commitments. Some desire to pursue further education while others want to be supportive of their children’s education and look after the health of their parents.

However, asking for leave or using the entitled leave is now simply a depressing thought for a teacher because the chances of denial and counselling becomes high. Teachers are professionals and they should be trusted and respected.

Forgotten Nadruku

Dharmendra Kumar,  Suva

The annual Mana Whey Coral Coast Sevens 2018 was no doubt a success.

It was a tournament that was well organised and a lot of talents identified. The highlight prior to the tournament was the unveiling of the commemorative plaque on the world’s only rugby walk of fame, which was very special and unique. This year we welcomed D J Forbes of New Zealand, the most capped sevens player as our ambassador. Previous ambassadors were David Campese, Waisale Serevi, the late Jonah Lomu, Ben Gollings, Viliame Satala, Karl Tenana and Lote Tuqiri.

We have, no doubt, forgotten somebody special and the irony is that he is a son of Nadroga – Noa Nadruku has to be recognised. What he did for Fiji on the field was unbelievable. He was part of the Fijian team that won three years in a row in Hong Kong. Nadruku, with his side step, terrorised everyone on the field.

I hope the organisers of the Coral Coast Sevens will honour this Namatakula man who currently lives in Australia.

PM-Rabuka photo

Amenatave Yaconisau,  Delainavesi

The Fiji Sun article by Nemani Delaibatiki titled ‘The handshake photo that is worth a thousand words’ (FS 27/1) indicates different purposes for which the two leaders are there.

One is there because it’s his village and the other (Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama) is there for people development according to Provincial Administration. Certainly far away from his policy making role in Parliament.

Such friendly approach is good for stability. Surely he can’t challenge authorities because he has no power and money. Such friendly approach does not necessarily imply ideological adherence of party supporters and the difference stands.

Beware of dogs

Spencer Robinson,  Suva

I believe the best time to walk is in the morning as opposed to the afternoon.

To exercise by walking in the morning offers a number of benefits – from the cool fresh air that we breath to meeting other like-minded people walking for the same purpose.

And, the purpose of walking is to those pounds, stay fit and healthy. While other people prefer afternoon walks because it becomes convenient for them the bottom line is that walking is one of the ways of preventing non-communicable diseases (NCD).

What frustrates us more during our walks are stray dogs, including domesticated ones (pets), which have become a hindrance to an enjoyable exercise. Animals will always be animals despite man’s efforts to domesticate them as pets or be part of the family.

Meeting these dogs during our walks can be really challenging especially if you are walking alone when out of the blue they lunge at you. Apart from this, we have dogs that are labelled as the silent killers because they simply don’t care about your walk. As you pass them they silently attack you. It is advisable to stay alert and perhaps carry with you a firm stick as a weapon for self-defence against these unpredictable dogs. All in all, please dog owners give us a break and do your part in making our walk an enjoyable one. Best wishes to everyone in their morning or afternoon walks.

Please be careful not to get another tetanus injection.

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