FIVE students who had been banned by their parents from attending school because of their religious beliefs are for the first time in classrooms.
This was confirmed by Bureivanua district representative Luke Ramatei, saying the students from Soa in Ra were delighted to be given the opportunity to attend school.
He also cleared the air that all students who were members of this certain religious group in Soa had access to education now.
"Just recently the only two families in Soa left to send their children to school have finally released their children to school," said Mr Ramatei.
"We are working closely with the parents through the purchase of stationery and other financial support.
"We also thank the parents for allowing their children to have access to education."
Mr Ramatei also thanked government and the Ra Provincial Council for their commitment in enabling these students to attend school.
Ra provincial administrator Sitiveni Tavaga said the issue was successfully dealt with and the students had progressed well in the classrooms.
He said government, through his office, would ensure the abolishment of cults which encouraged practices that were not conducive to improving the livelihood, welfare and safety of villagers.
"These concerned students are attending school and we have been making several visits to the village to assist these students," he said.
Ra Provincial Council acting chairman Ratu Meli Bolobolo said the matter had been addressed and the council was doing its best to stop these practices.
"This is a matter of concern especially when innocent children are denied the opportunity to attend school because of their religious beliefs."