Letters: 6th May, 2019

Urgent restoration work must be implemented before the significance of history disappears.
06 May 2019 15:16
Letters: 6th May, 2019

Teacher Assessment

Fergus Garrett, Vatuwaqa, Suva

Teachers have just completed MY APA, the annual assessment or appraisal of their performance.

This will be used to adjust their salaries and help them to new positions under the Open Merit System.

I wonder if the ministry has any evidence that this exercise has any value in improving performance?

It certainly costs the teachers a great deal of time and stress and, thus, probably has a negative effect on their performance in the classroom for the duration of the exercise.

Is the ministry simply relying on academic doctrine on Human Resource Management?

Big companies spend millions of dollars and countless hours conducting performance reviews and devising checklists to assess their employees.

Business scholars have studied the issue with great urgency and intensity.

So far, the available evidence shows that formal attempts to rate employees do not meaningfully improve employee performance or give companies any sort of competitive advantage.

They end up being extremely costly and have no impact on productivity.

One expert says, after careful research: “Out of all of the methods used to rate and grade employees, the dreaded annual or semi-annual performance reviews are especially unhelpful and potentially harmful. Performance ratings have no relation to organisational performance whatsoever”.

A professor of management at George Washington University in Washington, DC, says that managers should practise everyday management.

That means checking in on employees every day and giving them real-time feedback on things they’re doing well and areas where they can improve.

When performance is a conversation, and not something that happens just once a year, the measurement becomes very easy and straightforward with no surprises.

It is important to gather input from many different people within the system – peers as well as supervisors.

In the case of teachers that means consulting their clients, the students and other staff members.
Stop discrimination

Penitiko Taoi (Jnr), Cunningham, Suva

Women all over the world have come a long way in terms of fighting for their rights, freedoms and standing up against a patriarchal society.

A vast change has also taken place over the decades for women here in Fiji because they have been representing themselves in the public and private sector and have succeeded in holding prominent positions in certain male-dominated fields.

However, what is concerning to me is the discrimination that still exists in society which needs to be highlighted before it becomes a norm. This discrimination is in the form of revolting sexual messages towards our female population stuck or mounted on various modes of our private and public transport.

These messages hinder the development of women in society by bringing in that old, ancient mind-set, which is not needed for a developing nation like ours.

As a concerned citizen I think that this is disappointing and sad and reflects the ignorance of drivers and vehicle owners; it maybe a right, but rights come with responsibilities!

Therefore, I suggest that relevant authorities should consider this issue and impose strict laws which will involve a ban on the sale of these materials and hefty fines for those who use it.

Lastly, for the male population, let us keep empowering women in every aspect of life and let us continue to create a better supportive mechanism in our homes, which will ensure positive development for our mothers, wife, sisters and daughters.
Child labour

Lui B Manaseitava, Laucala Bay, Suva

As a resident of the Laucala Bay area, I would like to raise the issue of child labour to our law enforcers.

Child labour is a major issue our community has been facing.

A good illustration is the great number of children from as young as 10 to 16 years old selling their goods and begging along the passageway from Damodar City to Cost-U-Less.

These children are often seen in the area as late as midnight trying to sell all their goods in order to go home.

Upon asking a few of these children why they are out very late, they say that they have to sell all their goods before they reach home or they will be growled at by their parents or guardians.

We see here the need of parental consideration in this matter and the dangers that they are putting their child in by leaving them to sell from the morning until the late hours of the night.

With the current government offering a free education scheme, there is no valid excuse not to send a child to school.

Law enforcers should investigate this issue thoroughly to drive these children back to their homes where parents and guardians can bring them back into the education system in the hope that one day these children will be educated and be our future leaders in different aspects of life.
Fiji’s largest convention hall

Joe Smith, Pacific Harbour, Deuba

Great news.

The PM indicated at the ADB meeting that Fiji will have the largest convention Hall with FNPF funding.

Could FNPF give a hint as to where it will be located?
God-given opportunity

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Samabula, Suva

It is true that all the money and wealth we have will not be enjoyed by us if we are not in good health.

While we can be content with good health, living in poverty is not a solution for achieving our goals and dreams.

On the spiritual side, Jesus said it was useless for a person to gain the whole world, but lose out on eternal life.

In Fiji today, despite all the goodies given out by our current Government to raise our living standards, our current economic climate seems to result in the increase in Communicable and Non Communicable Diseases, unemployment and a dreary expectation for more economic trials and hardships in the near future.

Those who pray for a breakthrough should thank God that in His mysterious ways, He has brought to Fiji – AIM GLOBAL, a health and wealth company that will soon open its office in Suva.

This business opportunity claims to be the Number 1 MLM Company in the world and it claims to have turned over 6000 ordinary people into extraordinary millionaires!

In our current economic climate, most of us would be happy and content with an extra three, four or five-figure monthly income.

If you know in your heart that you need this breakthrough, you can check this business out on the internet  or add friend, contact me on FB or Messenger etc for a free business presentation and decide for yourself if this opportunity is God given or not!

Many distributors have testified that this opportunity is the answer to their prayers.

Check it out; it could be the answer to your prayers as well!
Syria Park monument

Satish Nakched, Nadera, Nasinu

This month on the 11th marks the 135th year of the fateful maritime disaster when the vessel Syria that was carrying 498 indentured labourers to Fiji hit the reefs at Nasilai in Tailevu and 59 lives were lost.

This remarkable ship was named after the Syria River in Karnataka, India, and was launched in 1868. She was primarily used for the transportation of Indian indentured labourers to the colonies.

On this fateful voyage, the Syria left Calcutta on March 13,1884, and its journey was uneventful except that the route, through the Indian Ocean and travelling south of Australia to utilise the prevailing winds, took only 58 days which was two weeks less than expected.

However, on the night of May 11, 1884, at about at 8.30 disaster struck and the ship ran aground. This created great panic among the passengers and the crew of the ship.

The ship was about four miles from the shore and the report reached Levuka the next day when the administrators took over the rescue operation, but the huge breakers in the area hindered the attempt greatly.

The rest became history and recently the event was rewritten when the great lady the Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa accepted the sevusevu from the descendants of the Girmityas as their thanksgiving to the people of Noco who saved their forefathers when the vessel sank.

The title of “Luvedra na Ratu” was bestowed on the descendants and that warm priceless gesture surprised and was appreciated by many. To mark the disaster of Syria a monument was built in 1983 in Nausori town with the information and the original ship figure head mounted with a plaque on a permanent foundation.

The monument in the Syria Park area is about 20 feet square in size and located at the Nausori end of the old Rewa bridge and had a concrete railing around the area.

The late Adi Lelea Cakobau laid the foundation of the commemorative structure and local prominent people in the community were instrumental in constructing the site.

However, the site now is abandoned, damaged and urgently requires repairs.

Urgent restoration work must be implemented before the significance of history disappears.

I believe the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts should be responsible to maintain the place with great sentimental values and preserve such sites for the future generation to acknowledge and enjoy.

Just a week away from the anniversary of the 135th year of the very important event in our proud history, the Syria site in Nausori is dirty, dilapidated and about to fall over.

The back of this historical site sinks and some people use it as a latrine due to the fact that the administrators are not bothered.


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