23 April, 2015, 12:00 am
MANY are suggesting that the solution to the issue on government boarding schools is for Government to develop schools in the outer islands and remote areas instead of bringing students from those areas to QVS, RKS and ACS.
To expect Government to put huge education budgets and expensive infrastructures to Fiji’s least populated areas so they can be on par with those in urban centres is insane and defeats all logic, especially if it is for the sole reasoning of maintaining the tradition of premier iTaukei institutions.
Another vital component of education and development apart from the exam results of a student is teaching them to adapt to cultural exposure, integration with a wider student base and networking.
You cannot do this from the confinement of an isolated island or in the remote interior of the highlands.
Please let us stop boasting and using as justifications the names of those former iTaukei students of QVS, RKS and ACS.
We can also draw up a list of hundreds of iTaukei students who attended other schools and who have contributed more to Fiji today.
The priority issue here is to do with logistics and access. Tradition and culture can still be maintained with the new arrangement but is not a priority.
With all due respect to our chiefs and the colonial government who established QVS, RKS and ACS, I think that one major drawback of these schools in this modern Fiji is its confinement to iTaukei students.
I believe when you are raised in such an environment, they create a false atmosphere of iTaukei supremacy.
I believe this often leads to students developing a deep-rooted but sometimes biased perspective on race and can lead to racism.
I believe the same occurs to schools with over 90 per cent of Fijians of Indian descent.
Government is the biggest stakeholder at QVS, RKS and ACS and is mandated by the people of Fiji to do what it sees necessary for the betterment of education so we may produce useful leaders and citizens of tomorrow.
We must allow it the privilege to do so.