Thursday, February 18, 2016

Labasa schools and language

I was surprised to read that in the Labasa schools students tend to speak with the teachers in Hindi and not English.  This seems divisive - what about the Fijian/indigenous students?  This sounds unusual and doesn't help with the learning of English which in these days is necessary for communication. And I wonder about learning Fijian as well.

from the Fiji Times:

Call for iTaukei teachers for rural schools

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, February 18, 2016
THERE is a need for more iTaukei teachers in rural schools within the Labasa district.
Speaking during the Labasa tikina meeting in Vunivau Village yesterday, district representative Isoa Baleirotuma said the issue was an old one and had been discussed in the meeting for the past three years.
Mr Baleirotuma told participants at the meeting most students in their villages spoke Hindustani at rural schools such as Boubale and Bulileka because they were already fluent in the language and teachers continued to speak to them in the language.
According to Mr Baleirotuma, students' use of the English language had dropped as they tend to converse in Hindi with teachers.
This is the third year that the issue had been brought up at the meeting and Mr Baleirotuma said he was getting tired of highlighting the issue.
He said students' ability to read and write English had deteriorated.
Speaking to representatives from the Ministry of Education at the meeting, Mr Baleirotuma encouraged them to conduct research at rural schools in the district if they did not believe his concerns.
Mr Baleirotuma believes there should be a mixture of teachers in those schools so students can be multilingual.
In response, the ministry's divisional counsellor North, Isikeli Drevacu, said he had raised this issue with the ministry in Suva.
And he said the ministry had advised him there was a decrease in iTaukei teachers.

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