Fiji Teachers Union Opposes Student School Fees.

The Fiji Teachers Union (FTU) has expressed strong opposition to the Ministry of Education’s suggestion to charge school fees for students. FTU General Secretary Muniappa Goundar argues that imposing fees would undermine the principle of compulsory education, which is a right for all children.

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

Acknowledging the challenges of rural-to-urban migration among students, Mr Goundar proposed several solutions to address these issues. He suggested that improving education infrastructure in rural areas by investing in buildings and upgrading schools would create a more conducive learning environment for rural students.

Mr Goundar also emphasized the importance of enhancing teacher incentives. He proposed higher pay, housing allowances, and career advancement opportunities for teachers in rural schools, asserting that these educators should be given priority.

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

Additionally, Mr Goundar highlighted the need for advancing technology in rural schools to better engage students. “Rural schools must have access to modern technology and internet facilities,” he reiterated.

He also stressed the necessity for the Ministry of Education to develop a quality curriculum and distribute high-standard educational materials to rural schools, ensuring they provide the same level of education as urban institutions.

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

Community engagement programs were identified as crucial to reducing migration from rural areas. Mr Goundar advocated for initiatives that involve parents and community leaders in the educational process to create a supportive environment for students.

He suggested that awareness campaigns should be conducted to highlight the benefits of rural education and the opportunities available locally. Moreover, Mr Goundar called for the monitoring and evaluation of rural education initiatives to ensure their effectiveness and to allow for necessary adjustments to improve outcomes.

Attempts to reach the Fijian Teachers Association (FTA) General Secretary Paula Manumanuitoga for comments were unsuccessful.


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