An hour’s travel for internet

Students guardians, and parents of Muaira District School during the talanoa session. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Students and teachers of Muaira District School, Naitasiri, have to walk for an hour up a steep hill to access internet to obtain learning material.

The hill overlooks Lutu and Waibasaga villages along the Wainimala River.

The issue was raised by concerned villagers during a recent talanoa session with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the school.

Concerned parent Jone Batiratu said students and teachers had a challenging time trying to access online learning material during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said children and teachers would spend the whole day on the hill and then return to the village once online classes were over.

Mr Batiratu said even at night they could see lit torches on the hill as students studied.

He said even during rainy weather or on hot days, students would huddle underneath an umbrella on the hill.

Unlike children in urban areas, Mr Batiratu said Muaira students were at a serious disadvantage.

He said villagers also faced challenges because they were only able to make calls on the hill.

In response, Mr Bainimarama said they would look into the issue and make arrangements for internet access to be enabled in the school for children.

Director National Education Delivery Timoci Bure said they are aware of the issue and would look into it.

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