Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Free text books for Fiji but there's a catch

from w
Free textbooks to all students in Fiji - but there's a catch. The Bainimarama government people want to be popular with ordinary people so make rash promises such as parents no longer have to buy textbooks for school students. But there's a catch. They haven't printed the material yet so teachers have to use old books. Secondly they can give one copy of each book to a school to photocopy, or put the material on a website to download and print out. Now who's going to pay for all of that printing ink? The story is in the Fiji Sun newspaper today but they jam their pages so that we can't copy them, though I think there's a way to by-pass that with PrintScreen.

I've now noticed the same information on Fiji times online stories.  And do all students have equal access with home computers?  Or the ink to print out relevant material?

Free textbooks

Tevita Vuibau
Thursday, January 08, 2015
PARENTS will no longer be burdened with buying school textbooks for the 2015 school year.
This as the Ministry of Education has begun printing materials for classes and subjects and these materials will be transported to all schools in Fiji.
A Government statement released yesterday said school heads had been informed to refrain from giving out textbook lists to parents and instead use the materials they had until a full set of materials was provided by the ministry.
"The schools will also have a soft copy of the full set of materials, which the students can make copies of for their use if they have access to computers at home," the statement said.
And soft copies of all materials will be uploaded to the ministry's home page to allow students and parents from Years 1 to 13 the ability to download all materials.
Minister for Education Dr Mahendra Reddy made the announcements to his senior staff early this week.
"Parents and guardians are to be relieved of buying prescribed textbooks by the Ministry of Education," Dr Reddy was quoted saying in the statement.
"All students in the primary and secondary schools will be provided with a set of the prescribed textbook by March of this year at the latest.
"Teachers are to ensure that each student has access to all prescribed textbooks for their relevant subjects."
Meanwhile, school term one for 2015 begins on January 19 and ends on April 24.
And a letter to the Editor on Friday January 9th. about the timing of the announcement.

Textbook announcement
FREE textbooks for 2016 is welcomed across the country.
For 2016, could the Education Ministry please announce "free textbooks" early?
The fact is that most parents have already procured and even covered with brown paper and cellophane all textbooks (and exercise books) for this school year. This, we did in December to avoid last-minute hassle.
No, I am not complaining about having to buy books; it's our duty as parents. We received the book lists for our children on their third term parents' day last year.
However, what does bother me is the late, very late timing of announcement regarding free textbooks for 2015. If such schemes are to be continued, please announce before the end of this school year to avoid double spending, by parents and by Government.
Early announcement and notification of schools will mean no textbook list issued by schools for next year.
Please take this as a suggestion from a parent.
Happy school year, children!

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