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Fiji Time: 9:18 AM on Wednesday 3 September

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Early childhood education a struggle for villagers

Ana Madigibuli
Friday, December 28, 2012

EARLY childhood education has become a priority for many living in the interior of Ra, with parents trying their best to get their children into school at a younger age.

Getting a new kindergarten in the village is something that the villagers of Nayavutoka have always hoped for as most of their children seek education far from their village.

Nayavutoka village headman Pita Sokirewa Raiqisa said it was always hard to get their young children to school on time because the nearest kindergarten was an hour's bus ride away.

"Young children have to wake up around 5am to get ready for school and wait for the earliest bus to take them to school," Mr Raiqisa said.

"If they miss the bus in the morning then they would miss school which is just unacceptable.

"Most of the children's parents tend to seek my assistance in transporting their children to school by boat which is faster compared to getting on the bus.

"But that requires fuel money which most parents do not have particularly in the weekdays."

He said some parents could not bear the sight of their children waiting for the bus early in the morning. "This has led to some children not attending kindergarten in the village," he said.

"We would like to ask government for boat assistance, which can provide such services within Nayavutoka especially for schoolchildren.

"We have seen that children get to school faster by boat than by bus."

Ra provincial administrator Sitiveni Tavaga said for villagers to get a boat, they needed to contribute one third of the required funds with government providing two thirds.

Mr Tavaga said villagers needed to meet government halfway in order for government to provide such services to the people.

He said government was able to assist a few villages in the district with five boats that were in use in Nakorotubu.


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