NATION

Minister Discusses Future Of School

Minister for Education Rosy Akbar visited Nakaidrau Infant School in the upper reaches of Naitasiri’s Wainimala district yesterday to discuss the future of the school and its students. School manager
05 Jan 2019 10:00
Minister Discusses Future Of School
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Rosy Akbar with Divisional Education Officer Praveen Nath touring Nakaidrau Infant School in Naitasiri on December 4, 2019. Photo: Sheenam Chandra

Minister for Education Rosy Akbar visited Nakaidrau Infant School in the upper reaches of Naitasiri’s Wainimala district yesterday to discuss the future of the school and its students.

School manager Ratu Inoke Rokomasau of Nakaidrau Infant School said it was established to cater for children from Early Childhood Education up to Year 3. This was done because the parents wanted their children to be with them and reduce their expenses.

Later on, they built Year 4 in 2017.

The issue arose when the school asked for an extra teacher and an extra classroom for the growing number of students in the school. Currently there are two teachers employed and one of them will be on maternity leave once school starts.

“We want our children to be here with us and study in this village,” said Mr Rokomasau.

“For years, we have been sending our children to Ratu Alipate Primary School, which is a boarding school. This is a 30 minute boat ride from our village to the school.

“It is also unsafe for our children to travel by river because when there is heavy rain, it tends to get flooded and there have been incidents whereby boats have capsized.”

Ratu Alipate Primary School is at Narokorokoyawa Village in Wainimala district.

When this matter came to Ms Akbar, she decided to visit the school to look and gauge information.

She said that the village hall which was used as makeshift classrooms was not safe.

“These classrooms are not following the Occupational Health and Safety regulations and we would have to shut this down. This puts a risk on the children who are studying here,” Ms Akbar said.

“I will have to hold negotiations and talks to figure out the challenges and ways we can tackle this problem.”

Ms Akbar said she wanted to make a decision that would benefit villagers in long-term.

“If for instance, we build a new school here, will there be enough children for the operation of a school?” she asked the villagers during a talanoa session.

“If we give you a teacher and allow you to build Year 5 and an extra teacher, next year the school management will request us to build Year 5 as well.

“We want to invest for the betterment of our children’s education, but we want to invest in something that is sustainable.”

Currently there are 27 school students enrolled in the school.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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