Opinion

Letters To The Editor: 2nd Of February, 2019

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama hit the nail on the head when he told Government Permanent Secretaries that it is their duty to set the record straight and correct any misinformation stated in the media on any issue regarding their various ministries.
02 Feb 2019 10:00
Letters To The Editor: 2nd Of February, 2019
Letters To The Editor

Permanent Secretaries’ role

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama hit the nail on the head when he told Government Permanent Secretaries that it is their duty to set the record straight and correct any misinformation stated in the media on any issue regarding their various ministries.

They are paid over a hundred thousand dollars per annum each for their jobs and they should know exactly what is happening in each of their ministries because that is what good management and good governance requires. They must ensure that they are updated regularly and accurately by their subordinates on every development or issue of national interest or of national significance involving their ministries.

In the past four years it is common that many of them remain silent or make very unconvincing statements sometimes leading to more public confusion in regard to various issues regarding their various ministries.

May I also suggest that they regularly leave their comfort zones and visit and meet their various stakeholders to directly enlighten themselves to what actually transpires on the ground.

Every governance system is exposed to some sort of bureaucratic process that sometimes results in bottlenecks.

Regular visits to stakeholders by Permanent Secretaries who actually manages the whole ministry can easily iron out any miscommunication or clear any misunderstanding on any pending or potential issue.

The same should apply to every head and senior management of Government subsidiaries like Energy Fiji Limited, Land Transport Authority, Housing Authority, iTaukei Land Trust Board and so on.

If the Prime Minister can ride horses, cross rivers on foot, sail for days by boat and climb hills to visit our various rural communities, then there is no reason why these Permanent Secretaries cannot do the same.

 

Faith and school

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu
This solicitation by the Catholic and Methodist churches to have their own faith based teachers, I believe, has nothing to do with the education of our children, but everything to do with religion.

Both these two church denominations are simply worried about the declining numbers in their churches. They have come to realise that their numbers are dwindling and they are desperate to try and grow back their congregation.

It has become a normal practice now for many Fijians to enrol their children into Hindu and Muslim schools simply because many believe their children will receive a better education in these schools instead of at public or Christian schools.

So in retrospect the Catholic and Methodist churches have a lot to improve on in both its religious and education duties.

Having faith based teachers will make no difference if your religious outreach and education methodology has become ineffective!

 

Catholic Education

Ronnie Chang, Nadi

If true democracy is alive, well and vibrant in Fiji, if the internationally acclaimed “talanoa session” really applies, if the “vuvale partnership” exists, then something is re- ally amiss on our own so-called friendly shores. Respectfully, I beg to differ with the Right Honourable, the Prime Minister without fear, favour or rancour.

The real issue here is the manner in which our respected principals from our two Western Division Catholic secondary schools were transferred from their positions and the reasons offered by Permanent Secretary for Education, Heritage and Arts Alison Burchell and her consultant.

The pride, honour, respect and dignity of many of our faithful is hurt immensely.

In GOD’s time we will rise up again. We were sorely tested before.
We are being truly tested again.
We will overcome.

Governments and leaders will come and go. Life will “ebb and flow” like the daily tides. Our Catholic faith, her age old teachings, and undying educational processes with much dignity, will survive.

Education goes far beyond so-called primary, secondary and tertiary peripheral boundaries….it is almost never-ending.

Although we are in the minority, in that Fiji Catholics make up almost 10 percent of the population, we have been pioneers in the field of Fiji education, unsurpassed proud owners of 44 primary and 19 secondary schools. We have contributed handsomely in Fiji to the education of thousands upon thousands of non-Catholics.

Many became political leaders. Many are our leaders today. You will acknowledge. Many more will follow.

It is also acknowledged our critics will remain.

That’s life. We are humans; mere mortals; we are all sinners and have human limitations, weaknesses and failures. I am no exception. Serving our fellow men is never easy. Often thankless.

It is virtually impossible to please everyone, all the time.

We are taught, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

 

Setting Pace

Pranil Ram, Nadi
I am sure all the Fijian 7s fans are eagerly awaiting for the start of Sydney Sevens this week. Judging from the media reports the players and the coach are also excited about the tournament.

Winning in Sydney will be very special but by no means it will be an easy one. Teams are going to target our weak areas.

A win is going to set the record of winning three consecutive tournaments and also position us well in winning the overall series.

It is all going to be about pressure rugby from now, with the huge expectation from the fans, the players must be feeling the heat.

This week the team is going to face the litmus test of sevens rugby and if they are going to survive this they could be remembered as one of the greatest teams of recent times.

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