NEWS

Student Afraid Of Principal, Minister Looks Into Concern

“We still sent him to school in sulu and bula shirt because the exam was going on.
13 Apr 2019 17:49
Student Afraid Of Principal, Minister Looks Into Concern
Steven Bainivalu and his father Iowani Vunova.

Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Rosy Akbar will look into a case where a principal disallowed a student to sit for part of his first term examinations.

Steven Bainivalu, a student of of South Taveuni Secondary School, is now afraid of returning to classes.

His father, Iowani Vunova, said his son had not been to school since Wednesday because he claimed he feared the principal.

“It has been raining on the island for few days and his uniform wasn’t dry and the other school shirt got burnt last Friday,” Mr Vunova said.

“We still sent him to school in sulu and bula shirt because the exam was going on.

“He told the assistant principal seeking approval and to be excused.

“Then he was taken to the principal, Dharm Singh.”

The 38-year-father claimed that the principal told Steven to find another school that would allow him to enter school in mufti.

“I work as a labourer at Ura Estate on the island and I don’t have enough money,” the father-of-four children said. “I promised my son I will get him a pair of uniform before
the second school term.

Only few days are left for school to close and I didn’t choose to let my son stay home.

Steven Bainivalu and his father Iowani Vunova.

Steven Bainivalu and his father Iowani Vunova.

“Instead I sent him to school to do his exam.

Mr Vunova said teachers should have a heart to understand such situations and make decisions based on the circumstance.

“My son is afraid to go back to school now,” he said.

When Fiji Sun contacted the principal of the school, Dharm Singh, he said he was not allowed to talk to the media.

However, he said he was struggling to remove the culture developed by the some students who opted to attend school without proper uniform.

“There are rules in place to be followed for the benefit of everyone,” Mr Singh said.

“There are many students who come in outings and then find it difficult to enter the school bus. While some roam around in bus and reach home late.

“In this case the parents should have approached me to consult or should have written a letter seeking excuse for their son, which they didn’t do at all.

“There are procedures which must be followed and rules are the same for all students.”

Questions were sent to the Minister for Education Rosy Akbar seeking comments.

She replied that the ministry would look into it.

Edited by Percy Kean

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