NATION

Students Show Resilience Despite Disasters

Despite the congested situa­tion at Saint John’s College in Cawaci, Ovalau, the school maintained an attendance rate of 93 per cent in the last school term. School principal Aloisio Saukuru
23 May 2018 11:00
Students Show Resilience Despite Disasters
From left: Republic of Fiji Military Forces Engineer Corporal Jone Drauna, Development Captain Kelepi Tuiloma, US Defence Attaché Commander Constantine Panayiotou, US Embassy Rep Inia Tunidau and St John’s College principal Aloisio Saukuru. Photo: Selita Bolanavanua

Despite the congested situa­tion at Saint John’s College in Cawaci, Ovalau, the school maintained an attendance rate of 93 per cent in the last school term.

School principal Aloisio Saukuru said in his teaching career he had never taught in a school that main­tained such an attendance rate in a term.

Mr Saukuru joined SJC last year.

He said that one thing he noticed with the students was resilience.

He said on a Saturday after Tropical Cylone Keni the school had classes to cover for lost time.

“Despite the fact that they needed a roof and we were going to put them in different classrooms, I had an attend­ance rate of 99.1 per cent,” he said.

“Out of the 608 students, five were absent. One student was a boarder, he was sick. Another one had already written a letter that he would not be able to make it because of conjuncti­vitis and the other three did not make it because the truck did not reach their village.

“They are feeding off the positivity of what they can do with the limited resources they have and it is good.

“Every week I am hitting a 96 per cent to 97 per cent attendance rate, which means our attendance rate is very high despite the fact that we have these problems.

“These could be very good reasons for children not to come to school, but to have this kind of attendance rate with students willing to come to school and at this point in time is too good.”

The school lost seven classrooms with three staffrooms, which affected 290 students and 26 staff members.

Mr Saukuru said they had to put stu­dents into every available space they had and had to convert their sewing room, workshop and dining hall into classrooms.

Students were forced into optional classrooms that should only accom­modate 20 to 35 students.

“We are again very grateful to the United States Navy for extending their assistance to the school,” he said.

“We are hopeful things will materi­alise as soon as possible so that we can normalise the situation and get to see the students in their class­rooms to prepare well for their com­ing exams.”

Mr Saukuru said it was very unfor­tunate that the school was affected twice with Tropical Cyclone Winston and Keni, which had a lot of impact in the preparations of the students’ exams and other curricular activi­ties.

He acknowledged the assistance from the different institutions that had helped them, including the Min­istry of Education.

“We hope that things will normal­ise very soon for the sake of our stu­dents,” Mr Saukuru said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj



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