Religious Leaders Regroup, Form Faith-Based Education Forum

Religious leaders in the country have come together to form a Faith-Based Education Forum. The purpose of this forum is to push for faith-based schools to have heads of schools
25 Jan 2019 10:20
Religious Leaders Regroup, Form Faith-Based Education Forum
Archbishop Peter Loy Chong.

Religious leaders in the country have come together to form a Faith-Based Education Forum.

The purpose of this forum is to push for faith-based schools to have heads of schools of their respective faiths only.

Formed yesterday, the interim Chair of the forum is the Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong. The motion to make him the interim chair was moved by delegates from the Ramakrishna Mission in Fiji.

Interestingly, the interim deputy chairman of the forum is Richard Wah, the Methodist Church’s strategic development planning committee chairperson.

Mr Wah had contested the 2018 General Election under the National Federation Party (NFP) banner and received 292 votes.

Present at the meeting were representatives from the:

  • Seventh-day Adventist;
  • Christian Mission Fellowship;
  • Assemblies of God;
  • Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma;
  • Then India Sanmarga Ikya (TISI) Sangam Fiji;
  • Shree Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha;
  • Ramakrishna Mission;
  • Salvation Army;
  • Pacific Conference of Churches; and
  • Anglican Church in Fiji.

Those present at the meeting also confirmed that no one from the Fiji Muslim League was present.

League president Hafizud Khan is said to be out of the country. Numerous calls made to other members in the league for a comment were all referred to Mr Khan.

Media ‘lockdown’

Archbishop Chong, when contacted last night, said they were on a “media lockdown and wanted to withdraw from all discussions.”

He said: “The church had discerned enough information to its members regarding the issue.”

The president of the Fiji Council of Churches, Reverend Tevita Banivanua, confirmed yesterday that a meeting was held but all correspondence would be made by Archbishop Chong as forum chairman.

He said the meeting centred around the education issues raised by religious groups.

Reverend Banivanua said the council was not directly involved in the matter, but supported the forum.

Methodist Church president Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa said their education secretary, Waisake Ravatu, attended the meeting on behalf of the church.

Mr Wah reserved his right to comment saying they were not ready to issue a statement because the forum was in its preliminary stages.

Some of the resolutions agreed to during the meeting was the formulation of the forum, which would review the education system in Fiji and, identify problems and map out strategies to improve and resolve emerging education issues.

The next meeting to confirm post holders of the newly established education forum is scheduled for February 6, 2019.

Those at the meeting:

  • Catholic Archbishop, Peter Loy Chong; Vicar General, Fr Sulio Turagakacivi; Catholic Education Director, Nemani Drova; Corpus Christi College Principal, Remesio Rokovakalali;
  • Seventh Day Adventist General Secretary, Pastor Josateki Talemaitoga;
  • Christian Mission Fellowship School Board Chairman, Rev Emosi Toroca;
  • Assemblies of God Church General Superintendent, Reverend Dr Mosese Cakau;
  • Methodist Church of Fiji Secretary of Education, Waisake Vuli Ravatu;
  • The Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam Fiji President, Sadasiwan Naicker;
  • Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji Assistant Treasurer, Ramesh Sharma;
  • Ramakrishna Mission Fiji;
  • Salvation Army Divisional Spiritual Life Evangelist/ Mentor and Divisional Secretary for Men’s Ministries, Major Uraia Dravikula;
  • Fiji Council of Churches, Reverend Tevita Banivanua;
  • Fiji Council of Churches General Secretary, Reverend Iliesa Naivalu;
  • Pacific Council of Churches, Netani Rika;
  • Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Vicar General of the Diocese of Polynesia and Archdeacon of Suva, Orisi Vuki;

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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