THE intervention of Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and the Education Ministry has warded off a possible hunger strike by a group of parents and students in Labasa yesterday.
The proposed strike came in the wake of the ministry’s decision to award the students zero for their Fiji Seventh Form Examination biology paper last year.
Yesterday the group said they would resort again to a strike if no action was taken by Friday.
The aggrieved party’s spokesman, Rajesh Lal, said they decided to suspend the hunger strike out of respect for the quick response by the ministry and the Prime Ministers Office, saying they would continue with their initial plans if no action is taken on their complaints by Friday.
Amid the group that converged on Labasa Sangam (SKM) College compound was school Form Seven dux, Kavneel Chand, who said his dream of becoming a doctor had gone down the drain by the ministry’s decision to award him a zero for his biology exam.
“I once dreamt of being a doctor to help my sickly parents since my mother is suffering from hypertension and my father is a patient of a heart attack, but that dream hangs on the line now,” said Kavneel.
His father, Rajesh Chand, said Kavneel’s unblemished school report spoke volumes of his abilities and a zero for biology was something they could not come to terms with.
“We plead with the ministry to please reconsider their decision and look into the matter seriously before deciding to crush the dream of our children,” Mr Chand said.
Another restless parent Umesh Kumar said his only daughter was a bright student and had performed exceptionally well during previous examinations scoring a total mark of 88 in her annual biology exam. “We still cannot accept the fact that she received a zero in her biology paper during the Fiji Seventh Form Examinations,” he said.
Group spokesman Mr Lal confirmed they would continue with the planned hunger strike if the situation remained unchanged by Friday.
“We have a few parents from as far as Bua and support has been flowing in from around the country and even overseas which is overwhelming” said Mr Lal.
“We thank the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Education’s quick response to our plea as this is our only hope and the hope of our children’s bright future.”
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro also confirmed they would monitor the situation at the school.