Thursday, August 07, 2008

Teachers query charter

Teachers query charter
SERAFINA SILAITOGAThursday, August 07, 2008

THE People's Charter will not address the problem of increased school dropouts that is experienced every year, says the Fijian Teachers Association.
FTA secretary Maika Namudu said the problem of school dropouts and unemployment among school leavers has been a long-time concern of previous governments.
His comments follow the release of a draft copy of the People's Charter yesterday. "And despite continuous efforts put in by the previous governments, the problem has continued to stare at us in the face so the charter will not make a difference,' said Mr Namudu.
"In fact, it will not solve any problem of school dropouts."
He said that vocational training institutions including those in secondary schools could help make a difference but not much investment had been put into them by governments. The Fiji Teachers Union echoed similar sentiments as it questioned the prerogative of the charter in addressing such problems concerning school students and the problems affecting most of them in these trying times of financial strife.
FTU secretary Agni Deo Singh said the interim regime had always preached about providing quality and better education but its latest request to the Ministry of Education to decrease its 2009 budget has only raised eyebrows.
"The regime is doing the total opposite to what they are saying about improving education and providing quality education to the students of Fiji," Mr Singh said.
"While talking about quality education, the regime has asked the Ministry of Education to decrease its 2009 budget and that does not speak one word of improving education for our children at all." He said the charter was a waste of time and money because decreasing the education budget would not help retain students in school.
Instead, he said it would only decrease financial assistance to students in the form of school grants.

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