Opinion

Letters To The Editor: 23rd January, 2019

My Say Anne Wade , lizanne210@gmail.com Nemani Delaibatiki seems to think he knows a lot about the Catholic faith and its doctrines. How sad! He seems to think that we
23 Jan 2019 10:00
Letters To The Editor: 23rd January, 2019

My Say

Anne Wade , lizanne210@gmail.com

Nemani Delaibatiki seems to think he knows a lot about the Catholic faith and its doctrines. How sad!

He seems to think that we need a “secular learning arm” to “consolidate faith among member students and introduce the Church to non-member students through various activities” and it’s this battle to retain members that may have influenced its current stand. How wrong!

Yes, we can take a stand from the LDS school, but remember, they privatised one of their two secondary schools. We have 14 secondary schools. And how, pray tell me, will the religious component be retained under a non-Catholic head teacher?

As Catholics, we study and learn about the sacraments of our faith, several of which we attain and receive throughout the primary and early years of secondary school. Yes, you are correct when you say “the future direction rests with its leader”- in Fiji, it is our Archbishop – presently, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong.

You are also correct when you say, “In the church’s early beginnings, education was the integral part of its growth. It was a missionary, education and service-based church” – and it still is. It did indeed bring in priests, brothers and nuns to teach at its growing numbers of schools in the 1900s.

Just to go back to your first paragraph of “your say”, No, Mr Delaibatiki, – the pioneers of Catholic schools in Fiji are dancing on top of their graves (not turning) – in the knowledge that after years of all their hard work, Fijis own sons and daughters, former students of our own Catholic schools around our country, are themselves, priests, brothers and nuns, who are now being ‘missioned’ –  sent out to other countries, to educate and teach our faith in other lands and there are others who run our local churches.

This is probably the best results of the outcomes of having a good Catholic head at our schools, who know the values of a good Catholic education.

We just need the Ministry of Education to realise that our schools teach more than ABCs and 123s.

Misguided spirit

Jan Nissar, Carlton, NSW

I refer to Fr Kevin McGuire’s letter titled ‘A Vision of Greatness’ (F/S 20/01).

I am completely lost as to what message the Father is trying to convey. I believe even he does not know what he is saying – I doubt anyone else does. That famous quote by Mark Twain came to mind “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt”.

To the Archbishop and the Father, take off your Catholic blinkers and get a wider vision of the rest of Fiji around you. You are supposed to be men of wisdom. The Catholic way is not the only way. All the peoples of Fiji are special and they are not all Catholic. The only way forward is “equality, non-discrimination, merit-based.”  No other precedence should be set.   

Even Rabuka now admits he was wrong in what he did after speaking to God. You are just as wrong, so do not let the Holy Spirit misguide you.

Faith-based school principals

Epeli Rabua, Suva

The education department and the Fiji Human Rights advocate, stating that having faith-based teachers in faith-based schools is discrimination is frivolous and cheap.

Faith-based schools in Fiji were built and manned by faith-based teachers from its initial beginnings until Fiji’s new government came into power this past 12 years or so. These faith-based schools were initiated by their respective faiths to assist local children have the best education – academically and holistically.

Their statement that changing the principals of Xavier College and St Thomas Schools’ were based on merit, is not an issue because the current principals of both these schools have education credentials, which are far more than their incumbents and the performance of both schools in the last decade or so have been exceptional.

So, on what merit are these two institutions talking about? Against the use of faith-based teachers/principals in faith-based schools?

Faith-based schools around the world have primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and are renowned for their superiority of education because of the qualifications faith-based teachers have, whom have undergone proper teacher training and have taken the vocation of teaching as a lifetime mission.

This is more than I can say for Fiji’s current crop of teachers. The results of the deteriorating school system in Fiji is no laughing matter and will continue to decline because of the lack of teaching experience the ‘so-called merit teachers’ have!

The Education department would have been astute to use the two new principals to negate the current teacher shortage they are currently facing.

Sevens extravaganza

Pranil Ram, Nadi

Sevens rugby is one sports that has the fastest growing fan-base.

New Zealand, being a rugby-mad nation and where rugby is almost like a religion, makes it a splendid venue for sevens rugby.

Hamilton being the new venue creates a unique rugby festival for all. All of us are aware of the success of the All Blacks. This is one tournament that exceed the player’s wildest dreams.

For players it would be not just about playing according to the game plan, but also responding to full crowds of passionate supporters from different backgrounds. I know how special it is for our boys to win Hamilton. Sevens unites us as a nation and promotes friendship and helps celebrate our differences.

Locally, fans are looking forward for this tournament and hope Fiji can carry on the same momentum from South Africa.

Go Fiji go!

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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