NATION

New Ratu Kadavulevu School Principal Gets A Head Start

Arvind Prasad moved to Ratu Kadavulevu School in Tailevu seven weeks prior to the start of the new school year on Monday. He worked to make sure everything was ready when the new term began
16 Jan 2020 09:45
New Ratu Kadavulevu School Principal Gets A Head Start
WELCOME AT RKS... Acting Principal of Ratu Kadavulevu School (RKS) Arvind Prasad with some of the students at his office in Lodoni, Tailevu, on January 15, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Arvind Prasad moved to Ratu Kadavulevu School in Tailevu seven weeks prior to the start of the new school year on Monday.

He worked to make sure everything was ready when the new term began. That move paid dividends. Now he has earned respect from all the stakeholders who have rallied behind him as the new principal of a traditionally iTaukei school.

Mr Prasad is the school’s second Indo-Fijian principal. The first was Amraiya Naidu in 1984.

Mr Prasad was one of the three Indo-Fijian school heads caught in the political crossfire between critics and defenders of the Open Merit Recruitment Selection (OMRS).

The other two are Bharti Singh, acting principal of Adi Cakobau School and Mohammed Feroz Khan, acting principal of Lelean Memorial School.

Some Opposition politicians and their supporters criticised the appointments using the race and religion cards. But a random survey among students, parents and teachers revealed that they fully supported the new school heads because they wanted the academic standards to improve.

Many spoke out on the condition of anonymity.

One RKS student, echoing the sentiments of his colleagues, said: “It is just the beginning of a new school year and already we are seeing the new improvements he has been making around the school like the renovation of our dining room, dormitories and compound maintenance and we are happy about these changes.”

A RKS teacher said: “We do not look at race or religion. We want what is best for our students and the reputation of this school, and so far, we are impressed with these new changes he has brought about. Hence, he has our full support and we will stand by him no doubt.”

At ACS, a teacher said: “We have welcomed her with open arms and accepted Ms Singh’s new appointment as our acting principal. We have nothing against her.

“People should stop judging one’s race or religion thinking they are not capable of leading a school. Instead we should be in unity with one another having in mind what is best for our children’s learning and their future. At the end of the day, we want our school to move forward and see to it that our children excel.”

Similar sentiments were expressed at Lelean.

At RKS, Mr Prasad definitely has the unanimous support of the students, Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and the RKS Old Scholars Association.

During the interview with me in his office yesterday, an old scholar walked in unexpectedly, shook his hands and thanked him for the work he had done. He told Mr Prasad that he had just enrolled his grandson.

Mr Prasad said: “It is indeed an honour for me to be given an opportunity to lead a prominent school like RKS that has with it so much rich history and excellence.”

“I want to thank the Ministry of Education for the selection and the RKS Old Scholars Association for showing their support and commitment when I needed it.”

Mr Prasad, originally from Sigatoka, was able to have his team complete the dining hall, hostel renovation and maintenance of the school compound in seven weeks.

Housing arrangements for students have also been changed to minimise bullying and other housing problems.

“Students are now housed according to their class levels and not under their house colours so junior and senior students are housed separately to minimise past reports of bullying and other associated incidents.”

Having spent about 23 years in the teaching field, Mr Prasad is optimistic about RKS this year.

Mr Prasad, 45, and his wife, a school teacher at Tailevu North College, have two children. Their eldest daughter is studying to become a doctor and his son is entering Year 13 at RKS.

Lelean’s Mr Khan declined to comment. But it is understood that the teachers and students support him despite what the Methodist Church said that it wanted a school head with a Methodist background.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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