Letters To The Editor: 30th January, 2019

- Delaibatiki’s article by Reverend Father Beniamino Kaloudau, Lami - Support Open Merit Recruitment System by Renuka Kumar, Suva - Fijian students? by Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva - Superlative Hamilton 7s Victory! by Epeli Rabua, Suva
30 Jan 2019 17:34
Letters To The Editor: 30th January, 2019

Delaibatiki’s article

Reverend Father Beniamino Kaloudau, Lami

As Vicar General to Emeritus Archbishop Petero Mataca, I Father Beni Kaloudau wish to tell Nemani Delaibatiki, that he was greatly mistaken in assuming that the Emeritus Archbishop will support Government’s move on merits.

In his article (FS 28/01), his topic, “Learning from the legacy of the Archbishop Petero Mataca,” for Archbishop Peter Loy Chong to learn from the Emeritus Archbishop.

During his term of 37 years, he advocated and accepted only Catholic principals in Catholic schools.

The Ministry of Education will always accept the candidate proposed by the Catholic Church office.

He together with former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase signed the memorandum of understanding for the Ministry of Education, to be sensitive and respect the Catholic Church’s contribution to education.

They have 19 secondary schools and 44 primary schools.

When the church request for Catholic principals, “PAY YOUR OWN PRINCIPALS” is the bold answer.

Could the Minister for Education or Permanent Secretary explain why faith-based schools pay for its own principals? Secondly, take the plank out of your eyes and clearly see, the members of the church are taxpayers.

Little does Mr Delaibatiki know that the two Church leaders governed the church in two different times in the history of Fiji?

The Emeritus Archbishop, faced different problems, while Archbishop Loy Chong faces modern problems.

Archbishop Loy Chong, one may say, is a prophet of this modern Fiji putting into practise the social teaching of the church and trying to solve modern problems of globalisation, materialism, human trafficking, sexual abuses, degrading dignity of the low-income earner, climate change, addiction to social media, unemployment and protect- ing ecology.

From his studies gaining a Doctorate in Theology, he is well equipped to face the modern problems of his time.

He understands that Fiji is a secular state.

This does not mean that the Ministry of Education exploits the right of faith- based school by its principles of the (OMRS – Open Merit Recruitment System) on merit replacement services.

All he is requesting is a dialogue with the Ministry of Education and for the faith-based school character is protected.

We are not talking about imparting religious knowledge here but to respect the faith of their faith-based schools. Australia and New Zealand are a secular state and they respect the character of faith-based schools.


Support Open Merit Recruitment System

Renuka Kumar, Suva

As a former teacher, I wanted to share some thoughts about the changes going on in the Ministry of Education.

It took guts for the Government to start the Open Merit Recruitment System (OMRS) on Elections year.

They did it because they knew this was best for the country. They were not out to pick up extra few votes from those lazy civil servants and those unions who did not want the status quo to change.

The same thing is happening with the education ministry now. Investment in teacher training has been one of the worst here in Fiji when compared to other developing nations.

Why was this? Because teachers knew they were set for life and as long as there was no major disciplinary case against them, they will retire on a good pension.

Now the teachers are challenged to continuously up skill themselves. Previously, training opportunities were far and few and given on the basis of who got along best with the district education officer.

We, today have teachers who will get a pay increase if they perform instead of the across the board increment where one or two teachers carried the load of the other non performers.

Minister Rosy Akbar and her Permanent Secretary Alison Burchell took on a massive task which was started under the guidance of the Attorney -General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Students will be the ones benefiting from these reforms in the long run. Everything else is just a distraction.



Fijian students?

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

I believe we are all proud of the FijiFirst Government and its achievements in the last four years of leadership.

Some Fijian families were in tears when our Prime Minister announced that his Government wanted Fiji to be a smart nation and that all Fijian children to attend school.

The announcement of free school fees, bus fares, textbooks and other free goodies for all Fijians just branded the FijiFirst Government and its leadership as heaven sent.

I believe this is one reason why Fijians voted them back into power in the last election.

As a FijiFirst supporter who also voted for our PM, I am humbly pleading the Government to reconsider its stance in not providing free education and other goodies for Fijian children and students who choose to enrol in privatised Christian faith-based schools.

I read the story about Navesau Adventist High School (Fiji Sun 28/1) and it makes me said to note that the Government I support was not “living its promise about treating all Fijians on a level playing field.”

Please Government reconsider your stance because children in Christian faith-based schools are also Fijians.


Superlative Hamilton 7s Victory!
Epeli Rabua, Suva

The Hamilton 7s rugby commentators ran out of superlatives to describe the Fijian 7s team on their way to winning the Hamilton 7s on Sunday.

So complete was the way the Fijian 7s team played throughout the weekend, easing up on the last game against Australia on the first day and then implementing the finishing touches to their green canvas in the final against USA, was just another day on the rugby paddock for the Fijian 7s team.

Their pose for the Sports Photograph of the Year, the raising of the little girl to the heavens to launch their pre-game quiet time just before kick-off in the finals was Picasso-like in its intensity that the whole stadium and the world marvelled in its simplicity.

As we celebrate with the team this victory and know that any Fijian 7s team can replicate the performance in Hamilton, we thank the Lord for empowering the team with natural 7s flair and flamboyance.

And we look forward to Sydney this weekend and pray that the team will have the strength and forte to express their repertoire of 7s skills to the Fijian fans in Australia for a second straight weekend.


Soil erosion

Tomasi Boginiso, Nasinu

Attending a funeral at Nabua Village in Rewa, I was shocked that the existing seawall was giving way and soil had started to erode.

I anticipate that by the end of the year most of the waterfront of the village will no longer be around.

Houses that were close to the banks were just a step from the water.

I beg the relevant authority to please look into the issue. The earlier the better.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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