Thursday, April 09, 2015

QVS RKS and Adi Cakobau schools

from w
I was astonished to read the new guidelines for accepting students for these schools - the children must come from the interior of the islands such as Navosa or the maritime islands such as Ono-i-lau.  Not those who live in Suva or the large towns.  Amazing.  Normally children gain entry through passing an academic test, no matter where they come from.  Now I wonder about Natabua High School  and Labasa College - will the children who live in Lautoka or in Labasa be excluded?
This is from a blog:

Another Fijian institution destroyed

Frank Bainimarama's regime government has taken a machete to another Fijian institution - boarding schools. Adi Cakobau, Ratu Kadavulevu and Queen Victoria Schools will from next year only cater for students from remote areas in a one-eyed plan to level the playing field for Indian students.

All three schools have been prominent for providing quality education and producing great Fijian leaders, many who have gone on to become CEOs, Ministers, Prime Ministers and Presidents of Fiji. They have also produced notable sports players.

But Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy says the boarding schools were originally meant to cater for students who hailed from the interior and remote outer islands.
He said lately, this privilege had been abused by students within urban areas whom he referred to as the elite group. "I want to announce today that next year, no boarding space will be given to students from urban areas or the elite in all facilities in the government boarding schools such as QVS, ACS, RKS and the likes. Boarding schools will only be reserved for children that come from the remote outer islands or the interior of our mainland.
Children in urban areas are expected to get their education from the many nearby schools available to them in their areas."
Adi Cakobau School (ACS) was established as a boarding school by the government in 1948 and was named after King Cakobau's grand-daughter. Its English language curriculum included traditional academic subjects, traditional dance, music and crafts. 

Queen Victoria School (QVS) was established in 1906 initially to provide education to the sons of Fijian Chiefs but over the years students have been multiracial.Ratu Kadavulevu School (RKS) is said to be the largest of the three boarding schools. Its students are multiracial, but predominantly Fijian. 

Former students of the three schools have vowed to 'save our schools'. 

And a response from Ro Kepa.

Victims to resist

Nasik Swami
Monday, April 13, 2015  Fiji Times
THE persistent attempts to re-engineer and weaken the iTaukei community is a tabu, says Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa while putting everyone on notice that those indigenous people who feel victimised will resist.
Ro Teimumu was responding to comments made by Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy early this month where he announced that Government boarding schools such as Adi Cakobau, Ratu Kadavulevu and Queen Victoria would cater for students from rural schools from next year.
Dr Reddy said lately, this privilege was abused by those who lived in urban areas, whom he referred to as the "elite group".
Ro Teimumu cautioned Dr Reddy to tread carefully when dealing with matters relating to the iTaukei community in Fiji.
"It was one thing to hurl abuse and disrespect to the chiefs and iTaukei community while systematically dismantling their institutions in Fiji through imposed decrees, but it is quite another to plan heavy-handed and unwelcomed reforms into matters involving our children - plans to impose his (Dr Reddy's) will and preferences on ACS, QVS and RKS," she said.
Ro Teimumu said without consultation or proper consideration, Dr Reddy had announced reforms that were creating alarm and anger.
"Most of these reforms would have far reaching implications and consequences for the future of our children and their families.
"Dr Reddy's comments were not only inciteful but it carried with it an underlying tone of arrogance and impertinence, from one, whose journey to prosperity was on the backs of the generosity and good nature of the chiefs and indigenous people of Fiji who allowed their lands and resources to be used by all for the good of Fiji," she claimed.
Ro Teimumu said for the Education Minister to refer to ACS, QVS and RKS as elite schools spoke more about his prejudice then it did about his suitability to head Fiji's Education Ministry.
She said the last time she looked at a dictionary "elite" referred to a group or class of people seen as having most power and influence in a society, especially on account of their wealth or privilege.
In response, Dr Reddy clarified student placement restrictions to Government boarding schools of RKS, QVS and ACS.
"The decision to restrict boarding spaces arose out of lack of space due to overcrowding of the boarding facilities in recent years," he said.
Dr Reddy said at the beginning of every school year, parents from outer islands and maritime turned up to the school to enrol their child only to find that there was no space to accommodate their child.
"Boarding spaces are to be first given to rural and interior students as well as students from maritime areas who are disadvantaged due to the unavailability of a school around their residence.
"Any surplus spaces after this initial placement will then be given to students from urban areas."
He said this move would provide the appropriate space to the disadvantaged and underprivileged students who otherwise might drop out of the school system because of the lack of boarding facilities.
The minister reiterated that apart from the restriction of boarding spaces to first place rural and maritime students, while students from urban areas could still study at these schools as day scholars.

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