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PM: Student discipline, vandalism, bullying a major focus

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday aired his concern on the discipline of students in schools. He cited recent Fiji Sun reports of students throwing bus seats in the Rewa River,
23 Mar 2018 10:00
PM: Student discipline, vandalism, bullying a major focus
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with 4-year-old James Kuruvuli of Nabua Village, while the PM was opening the Nabua Resource Centre on March 22, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar. Report on page 6

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday aired his concern on the discipline of students in schools.

He cited recent Fiji Sun reports of students throwing bus seats in the Rewa River, alleged bullying at Queen Victoria School and a corporal punishment case from Ratu Kadavulevu School in Tailevu, which was reported to Police.

Mr Bainimarama, while opening the Nabua Resource Centre at Nabua Village, said corporal punishment was not allowed.

He said parents should talk to their children and a centre such as the one opened at Nabua could be used to teach students discipline.

Director Operations Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Livai Driu said the alleged corporal punishment incident occurred a few weeks back and investigations had been completed. The file, he said, was with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

“When the file returns, we will then decide on the charge,” he said.

A High Court ruling (CP No 001 of 2001) in March 2002 (Naushad Ali vs State) declared the use of corporal punishment in schools as illegal.

This is after a submission by the Fiji Human Rights Commission urged the court to consider the issue of corporal punishment under the Penal Code and in schools.

The commission submitted that corporal punishment was in breach of Section 25(1) of the Constitution.

This ruling nullified all Ministry of Education rulings on the application of corporal punishment in schools.

The ruling by the High Court in Lautoka said the Education Act (Cap 262) did not make any specific provisions for the imposition of corporal punishment in schools.

Meanwhile, at a talanoa session after the opening of the resource centre several women asked the Prime Minister if they could have another health centre at Nabua.

Mr Bainimarama said the health centre was closed for a reason.

Another request was made from the rugby club for the gymnasium opened in 2015 to be equipped with modern training gear.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj



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