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Fiji Time: 6:49 PM on Tuesday 2 September

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Teachers hail bus vouchers

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, February 01, 2010

THE bus fare vouchers for students who qualify for the free bus fare assistance scheme will relieve heads of schools from the burden of disbursing cash, says Fiji Teachers Union secretary Agni Deo Singh.

Parents and guardians were given until Friday last week to submit their transport assistance application forms to their schools for assessment by the Ministry of Education.

The scheme is expected to begin on February 8 where eligible students will receive vouchers instead of cash.

"It is a rational decision that those who collectively earn less than $15,000 are going to be assisted," Mr Singh said.

"There is a large number that fall below the income bracket and they will be able to benefit from this initiative.

"We are happy that the heads of schools will not be handling cash and this is going to relieve them of this burden.

"It will allow important teaching time to be dedicated to teaching rather than distributing bus fares.

"This is a timely assistance."

Mr Singh said parents should respond accordingly by ensuring their children attend school regularly.

A special committee set up to look into the scheme decided that the scheme would only apply within an 18km distance or three stages of fares, and would amount to no more than 80 cents per person.


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