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Editorial: Siblings Set Examples For Students Pursuing Academic Excellence

The Tuibuca siblings – Jope, Jese and Taniela have provided a perfect example to all students aiming to excel academically. Apart from being siblings and apart from securing a scholarship
12 Jan 2019 11:55
Editorial: Siblings Set Examples For Students Pursuing Academic Excellence

The Tuibuca siblings – Jope, Jese and Taniela have provided a perfect example to all students aiming to excel academically.

Apart from being siblings and apart from securing a scholarship through the National Toppers Scheme (NTS), they are all students of Suva- based Jai Narayan College. Every year, Jai Narayan College has churned out top ranked students who have excelled and completed their Year 13 studies.

The college has consistently had its students securing spots in the NTS.

What is the secret to these students’ success? It is having the best and focused teachers, regardless of their race and faith.

This is what all schools need to strive for. Another young student Ping Yi Ko, scored the highest marks in the science stream- 389 out of 400 (Scoring 100 per cent in Mathematics, 99 in Biology, 97 in Chemistry, 93 in Physics and English ) in his Year 13 exams.

He is a student of Labasa College, another school where faith or religion is not high on agenda, but academic and overall excellence of students are.

Shouldn’t this be the focus of all schools? We have seen some faith-based schools asking the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts to send Principals of certain faith to their schools.

When Voreqe Bainimarama became the Prime Minister of this country, this was one of the things he put an end to- the preference of school teachers by some schools based purely on their faith and not on their abilities and merits.

Archbishop Peter Loy Chong has led the charge on this front by asking that only principals who belong to the Catholic faith are assigned to Catholic schools.

Does this have a place in a modern day society? I am sure the Archbishop and his followers have their reasons for it.

But when Government is promoting merit-based recruitment and appointment of people whose salaries are being paid by Government, it is only logical that this preference is not granted.

Why should a person’s faith be a decider on his or her appointment?

Our Constitution does not allow for discrimination based on a person’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation.

By telling a teacher that he or she cannot become the principal of a Catholic school only because he or she is not a Catholic smacks of discrimination.

The focus of all schools should be academic excellence and to groom the future leaders of our country, the future decision makers, the future Prime Ministers.

The focus of our schools should be to groom civic minded Fijians who believe in treating everyone equally, irrespective of their age, race, religion, sexual orientation.

All schools- whether they are faith-based schools or any other school for that matter should demand the most meritorious teachers, the best teachers, the most professional and hardworking team led by the right principal.

Their faith should not be a determinant.

We cannot isolate people and put them in boxes based on their race and religion. We cannot go down that path again. And we should have school heads leading by example.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj




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