SEVERAL letters in your column about the admission of students to Adi Cakobau School, Ratu Kadavulevu School and Queen Victoria School have been regrettably, not based on facts but assumptions. The truth is this. Firstly, for decades since their establishment, these schools' only criteria for student entry was based on students achieving a certain minimum aggregate mark in the Fiji Intermediate Examination for entry into their intermediate classes.
Later on when the intermediate classes of Forms 1 and 2 (Classes 7 & 8 or Year 7 and Year 8 ) were removed from these schools, the prescribed entry mark was based on the Secondary School Entrance Examination.
These entry marks I admit, were much higher than those demanded by other intermediate or secondary schools and I can only speak for Adi Cakobau School as I am more familiar with it.
Another criteria was that the student had placed the school as first choice in the application form which all schools sitting these examinations in those days, had to have students fill and send to relevant schools. (Students used to fill the name of the secondary school of their first, second and third choices).
Secondly, for ACS, there was always a set allocation of places for rural based primary school students and whose marks may be slightly lower.
Hence, there had been an in-school policy to facilitate rural based students. This discredits any statement that rural students had been marginalised.
Thirdly, there was never any policy about restricting admission to daughters of ratu and adi.
That some of them ended up there happened because they achieved the required marks in the entry examination.
It must be stated that the removal of all external examinations below the Fiji School Leaving Certificate and the accompanying filling of forms of choice, had brought a great deal of confusion to students and parents who now have to personally go from school to school to seek entry for the new year.
Perhaps, this is what the Ministry of Education should focus on and address.
I feel that the Minister of Education should review the unilateral decision on these schools so as to build peace rather than sow seeds of fear and disunity.
You see, given the way indigenous Fijian people's traditional institutions have been unilaterally dismantled; their language no longer acceptable in Parliament; their identity and land ownership issues being subjected to changes without their due consent, etc: — the indigenous people might feel that this is another part of the bigger plan to totally disempower indigenous peoples of Fiji and make them disappear into oblivion, as a race.
Especially, as these schools had been producing some of the national indigenous leaders of Fiji.
Babasiga (pronounced bambasinga) is the dry land of Macuata in northern Fiji - our place in the sun in Fiji. Peceli is from Fiji from the village is Vatuadova and the beach is Nukutatava. Peceli Ratawa passed away on 27th December 2015 so this is Wendy's blog now. Wendy is an Australian and today live in Geelong, Australia.