Children, parents struggle for ECE

Parents and early childhood education scholars of Tavea Island in their incompleite school. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

TAVEA villagers in Bua feel that their children continue to be denied their rights to access early childhood education (ECE), an important cornerstone of any person’s academic development.

The school’s manager Inia Vivini said parents on the island had trouble letting their young children board at the Lekutu Primary School because they were still not mature enough to leave their homes and the care of their parents.

Mr Vivini said ECE students on the island used to be transported to and from the island to the mainland daily so they could attend school.

“We are aware of parents and students having arguments because children want to attend school but can’t because of bad weather,” he said.

“There is nothing much that can be done to address the issue because the safety of our children is important to us.

“During his recent tour to the island of Galoa, we were promised by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, that he would look into the issue.

“So far we are still waiting for his promise because we have put up the structure, roof and frame of the kindergarten and we are still waiting on his word to us.”

Tavea clan head Sitiveni Tabua said a teacher had been sent to the island and students were learning at a villager’s home but they were greatly disturbed when the house was needed for other commitments.

Mr Tabua said the 40 metres by 20 metres incomplete structure would also contain the teacher’s quarters.

Responding to these concerns, commissioner northern Jovesa Vocea said the Tavea kindergarten project paper was now with the Office of the Prime Minister waiting for approval and the release of funds.

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