‘Education system needs big revamp’

Professor in Governance and Development Studies,Vijay Naidu speaks to The Fiji Times in an earlier interview. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

FIJI’S education system needs a major revamp so that it is attuned with early 21st century local and global societal requirements and challenges, says a University of the South Pacific academic.

Professor in Governance and Development Studies, Vijay Naidu is of the view that our educational system has many problems and challenges, with the major one being the examination system.

He made the comment in light of the recent comments by Fijian academic Professor Steven Ratuva who said Fiji’s education system created conditions for intellectual conformity and domestication rather than open, innovative and critical thinking.

“In a general sense one cannot disagree with him on the negative consequences of rote learning, cramming and conformity,” Prof Naidu said.

“Education becomes a narrow preoccupation with passing examination rather than encouraging students to broaden their minds about the world around us.

“I understand that over the years attempts have been made to address the hyper examination centredness of the system. It is unclear to me how effective these have been.”

Prof Naidu agreed with Prof Ratuva that we needed to be able to produce good national and global citizens and that the educational system must be kept abreast with innovative curriculum and pedagogy.

“We need to look at countries like Finland which have lead the world in educational development.”

Prof Naidu said these issues should not be dealt with on a piecemeal basis, but holistically by bringing together all stakeholders and listening to their views for revamping our educational system.

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