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Schools Closure Not A Priority: Archbishop Loy Chong

The Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji says closure of Catholic Schools is not high on agenda right now. In an interview with the Fiji Sun yesterday, Archbishop Peter
23 Jan 2019 10:57
Schools Closure Not A Priority: Archbishop Loy Chong

The Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji says closure of Catholic Schools is not high on agenda right now.

In an interview with the Fiji Sun yesterday, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong said their main focus right now was to present their issues to the Fijian Government, with high hopes that Government would take it on board and adopt it into their policy.

“I am responsible for Catholic education in Fiji and that has come from the Pope,” he said.

“In our leadership in the universal Catholic church I have an obligation to that. If I fail to do that I am failing in my obligation to the universal Catholic church leadership. For us, it is a moral obligation. Nothing violent.”

He said there were positive promises from the Ministry of Education however they did not want verbal agreements, which was the practice in the past.

“We understand that it is going to take some time because undoing a policy will take time like the Open Merit Recruitment Selection (OMRS),” he said.

“We are ready to go through the process because it is so important to us.”

He made it clear that the church is not “anti-government”, but were trying to advance issues to benefit their schools.

“Some people are twisting it like we are anti-government or bringing the prime minister into it. No this is nothing personal about the prime minister or politics. This is about education and the special contribution that faith-based schools have been contributing. So, let’s stick to that,” he said.

When questioned about the action plans, Archbishop Chong said they were merely recommendations to him from the Catholic Church members.

“That is a discernment process, the prayerful discernment by the members of the catholic community that were there and from their discussion that is what they proposed to me,” he said.

“It is not final. It is up to me to adopt it but we have not made any decision yet.”

He said they would conduct further consultations and draw up a more comprehensive submission soon to present to the Government.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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