TEACHERS in Fiji face numerous challenges in their effort to provide quality education for all children, says Fiji Teachers Union president Satya Shandil.
Speaking at the 82nd FTU annual general meeting and conference in Lautoka yesterday, Mr Shandil highlighted some of the challenges that local teachers are facing.
"In Fiji, the geographical distribution of the population itself poses challenges in terms of availability and access to certain basic services and facilities including education," he said.
"Schools are without adequate learning environment. Many rural schools lack proper water and electricity supply and have poor housing for teachers."
Mr Shandil also urged the government to play a more active role in providing equal opportunities for all.
"Although the emphasis on academic and intellectual performance of children are laudable, the non-academic subjects like art and craft, music and physical education have not received due attention," he said.
He said the test was in how to meet the personal challenges of delivering knowledge and skills in a way that actually improved outcomes for children.
"The challenge is to ensure that all children have access to quality education regardless of their personal background," said Mr Shandil.
The theme of this year's conference is "Challenges for the Teaching Profession in the new Decade".
Fiji National University vice chancellor Dr Ganesh Chand, who was the chief guest, said the challenges faced by teachers nowadays had changed significantly compared to the challenges faced by those who were teaching in the 1930s and 1960s.
Dr Chand said teachers still pursued relentlessly in educating Fiji despite these challenges which were enormous during those times.
More than 500 teachers were at Tilak High School for the annual conference.
The meet was also attended by Minister for Education, Filipe Bole, Permanent Secretary for Education Dr Brij Lal, Fiji Trades Union Congress president Felix Anthony and Lautoka City Council special administrator Praveen Bala.