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Fiji Time: 10:12 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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Academic applauds free education initiative

Dawn Gibson
Monday, December 16, 2013

FIJI National University Council's deputy chairman Arvind Maharaj has praised the government's decision to allocate about 19 per cent of its 2014 National Budget to the education sector.

During FNU's graduation on Friday, Mr Maharaj said the government had "heard the silent cry" of thousands of families who in the past could not afford to send their children to school.

"The doors of education have been opened wide for thousands of children who I'm sure if not for these incentives, would face difficulties in being able to pursue their educational dreams," he said.

"For the first time in Fiji's history, education has been made free for all students — from Class One to Form Seven.

"From next year, no family will have to pay any tuition fees, textbook fees, building fees, or any other fee usually charged by schools from Year 1 to Year 8."

Mr Maharaj said he thought it was relevant to highlight this at a graduation ceremony because parents no longer had an excuse not to educate their children.

"There should not be any more excuses as to why children are not in school — none at all.

"The responsibility is now with you the parents and guardians — it is your role now to ensure that each child attends school and receives a decent education," he said.