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Preschools not for underage

Salaseini Moceiwai
Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE Education Ministry is calling on parents to refrain from sending children under five years old to preschools.

Officiating at the Save the Children Fiji-organised Vuli Taumada Shishak Teachers Conference in Labasa yesterday, divisional education officer Northern Satya Nand Shandil said they were aware of children under the eligibility age of five being introduced to early childhood education.

"There is a need to establish a demarcation of age group in the early childhood education sector," he said.

"Of course the market is free for those who wish to run private centres catering for other age groups but I am bringing this up so that we are clear on which target group we are serving," Mr Shandil said.

"While the government is mindful of its social obligations to the people of this country, it also considers the economic and legal implications involved.

"Underage children should be at home and it's the sole responsibility of the parents to nurture them as part of the growing up stage.

"When they are matured enough and this is when they are at the age of five years old, they then can be enrolled in the centres."

Mr Shandil said five-year-old children were eligible for early childhood education under the law.

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