Fiji Teachers Union Opposes Student School Fees: Solutions and Strategies Unveiled

The Fiji Teachers Union (FTU) has voiced opposition to the Ministry of Education’s suggestion to charge student school fees.

According to FTU general secretary Muniappa Goundar, this move would undermine the purpose of compulsory education for all students.

“It will defeat the right of a child to quality education,” Mr. Goundar said.

He acknowledged the challenges posed by the rural-to-urban migration of students but offered several solutions to address this issue.

Mr. Goundar suggested improving rural education infrastructure by investing in buildings and upgrading schools in these areas, which would create a conducive learning environment for rural students.

Enhancing teacher incentives is another key strategy proposed by Mr. Goundar.

He emphasized the need for higher pay, housing allowances, and career advancement opportunities for teachers in rural schools.

“Teachers should be given priority in rural areas,” he said.

Mr. Goundar also highlighted the importance of advancing technology in rural schools to engage students.

“Rural schools must have access to modern technology and internet facilities,” he reiterated.

He stressed the necessity for the ministry to formulate a quality curriculum and distribute quality educational materials to rural schools to ensure they offer the same standard of education as urban schools.

“The ministry must distribute quality educational materials and resources to rural schools,” Mr. Goundar said.

Community engagement programmes were also identified as vital tools to reduce migration from rural areas.

Mr. Goundar advocated for programmes that involve parents and community leaders in the education process to foster a supportive environment for students.

Awareness campaigns highlighting the benefits of rural education and local opportunities should be conducted, according to Mr. Goundar.

He also called for the monitoring and evaluation of rural education initiatives to ensure their effectiveness and to make necessary adjustments to improve outcomes.

Efforts to reach Fijian Teachers Association (FTA) general secretary Paula Manumanuitoga for comments were unsuccessful.

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