Fiji Teachers Union claims no quality learning in schools

‘No quality learning’

Source: Fiji Times
Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

THE Fiji Teachers Union claims there was no quality learning in schools around the country because of the late arrival of textbooks and other hiccups in the Education Ministry.

FTU general secretary Agni Deo Singh made the comment yesterday as Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy condemned reports by this newspaper regarding the non-delivery of textbooks to schools in Fiji.

Dr Reddy said there were more than 900 schools in the country and the geographical spatial distribution of schools posed challenges this newspaper was not aware of, adding that even though some schools may have not received all textbooks, copies were still made available to schools for teachers to make lesson preparations.

“Communication and transport problems are other issues to consider and The Fiji Times has put it in such a manner that the Ministry of Education is failing in its duty.

“We have with us verification that schools have received their textbooks and I am not sure where The Fiji Times is getting their information from,” Dr Reddy said.

“I hope that The Fiji Times will look at issues from a more realistic and holistic view. They need to face reality and at least report on the positives that has come out on the recent reforms, which is aimed at improving the delivery of educational services,” concluded the minister.

But Mr Singh refuted Dr Reddy’s comments.

“While we understand all the excuses he is giving, he knew of all these challenges when he made this unrealistic commitment and we had brought this to the attention of the ministry on numerous occasions during the first term when until April, less than half the textbooks had been distributed.

“And as late as the beginning of the second term, many schools were not adequately resourced with textbooks,” Mr Singh said.

“And of course now towards the end of the year, The Fiji Times has been able to identify some schools that are still yet to receive textbooks. Now it is 12 months down the line, I don’t think the excuse the minister is giving now holds any water.”