Fiji stories, Labasa, South Pacific culture, family, migration, Australia/Fiji relationship
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Going to school rain or shine
Crossing the river in full uniform these kids are intent on getting to school by crossing a flooded river. Their school books are kept dry inside a pot! from the Fiji Times:
Luke Rawalai's efforts in writing a piece titled Struggle to school in The Fiji Times (20/02, page 4) did not go unnoticed.
The picture of the schoolchildren seen smiling and holding hands to support each other to cross the river is an epitome of the many struggles that children in rural areas go through for education.
Despite the strong current and risk to life, the children put on a brave smile as they were pictured.
The picture also reflects the beauty about living in multiracial societies where people are seen to be caring and thoughtful about others.
I am glad the children were supervised closely by their parents who held on to them.
What shocked me was that the primary schoolchildren had to endure wet uniforms and the cold river water.
According to the article, 100 students were unable to go to school after two weeks of constant flooding and parents were cautious about sending their children to school.
If this is true then something has to be done because these children need to attend school daily.
Government is enforcing the importance of children attending school by providing many initiatives.
The parents also claim that they pack their children's stationery in a pot and swim across the river with their children. These parents are risking their lives battling the cold and strong currents to get to the other side.
I hope that the FRA would address the issue with the residents at Vatulovona Village and nearby Seniwaloa settlement and reach an amicable solution.
I have been a victim of not being able to attend school when the Wainikoro River used to flood because we could not use the boat that transported us to school.
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.