NATION

Party To Focus On Free Education, Says Narube

Savenaca Narube says Unity Fiji party will provide free education for every Fijian from early childhood to ter­tiary level. “And all debts under Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) will be
19 Oct 2018 11:39
Party To Focus On Free Education, Says Narube
Unity Fiji Party Candidate, Ligavatu Gukisuva during the National Candidates list ball draw by the Fijian Elections Office on October 18, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Savenaca Narube says Unity Fiji party will provide free education for every Fijian from early childhood to ter­tiary level.

“And all debts under Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) will be forgiven,” said the Unity Fiji Party leader during a campaign meeting at Khalsa Road. Nasinu, on Wednesday night.

“Education to us is the building blocks of everything and we must get our young peo­ple educated,” Mr Narube said.

“Even adults need to be educated in some form and education is important to empow­er our children.”

Mr Narube said his party had studied the education system and they saw that stu­dents, particularly iTaukei students, didn’t have the required marks to earn full schol­arships, for the Toppers scheme.

“So they have to borrow from Government through the TELS,” he said.

“For some, when they finish their educa­tion under TELS, they will have to clear this debt of around $30,000 before they even secure their first employment. That’s not right!

“Those studying to be pilots and doctors will carry the debts of more than $100,000. That’s not right!

“So we will offer free education and will forgive the debts of those who are under TELS because we believe education is an individual right.”

Meanwhile, party candidate Liga Gukisu­va highlighted to the Fiji Sun that the com­ponent on how the party would fund the free education initiative would be highlighted in the manifesto.

This, he said, would be released by next week on Tuesday.

“We will look at the financial policy that’s already in place and realign it,” he said.

“I can assure you that the restructuring of our financial policy will be the first thing we will do to fund education and also for forgiv­ing the TELS debts and that’s for sure.”

Will Unity Fiji change the Constitution?

Mr Narube said that they saw a lot of things which were not fair in the 2013 Con­stitution. “It is not a people’s constitution, it’s the government’s constitution,” he said.

E-ticketing

When e-ticketing was introduced Mr Narube said it was only for the rich people.

“We don’t have surplus funds and spare change to be doing that and even in coun­tries that are richer then us such as Aus­tralia and New Zealand have e-ticketing, but they allow bus commuters to pay cash.”

Mr Narube analysed that e-ticketing was introduced because drivers were pocketing cash from bus fares.

“If an employee is stealing from an em­ployer it’s between both of them to solve it. Why include the public? I calculated that we pay our bus fares in advance is about $3 million per day,” he said.

Speaking of the $2 e-transport card, Mr Narube said, it’s sad when someone pur­chased the card for a $1.20 trip, not all the money will be used.

“So what happens to the 80 cents balance? It goes to Digicel and Vodafone.”

He concluded that when they come into Government, they would allow people to pay cash for public transport if the money in their cards was not enough .

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

 

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