20 October, 2019, 1:34 pm
THE revelation that Government has been urged to ensure that schools destroyed or affected by disasters were renovated or rebuilt quickly is interesting.
This was one of the recommendations contained in a document by the Human Rights Council Working Group for the Universal Periodic Review for Fiji.
We are told the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women recommended that the State ensure that “schools that had been destroyed or affected by disasters were renovated or rebuilt speedily in conformity with disaster resilience standards and provided appropriate hygiene and sanitation facilities”.
The working group also revealed that the Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned about rural schools being frequently faced with a lack of access to water, electricity or means of communication.
The document stated the special rapporteur on education noted that teachers were reluctant to be posted to schools on small outlying islands and in remote areas because of poor living conditions and lack of proper infrastructure and utilities.
UNESCO, it stated, encouraged the State to strengthen further the teaching profession and improve financial incentives, especially to encourage teachers to work in remote and maritime schools.
The document also highlighted that UNESCO had encouraged Government to ensure that financial resources were distributed to ensure that the quality of education was equitable between schools in urban areas and those in rural and maritime areas.
Any effort to boost education must be welcomed. It ensures we continue to strengthen the platform that contributes to building a knowledge-based society.
Education is a critical part of our society. It provides a solid base for our nation to build on in the future.
The State has set the platform for this to happen over the years. Our national budgets have targeted this platform over the years. Our challenge is to embrace this direction, and assist in laying the platform for our children to develop into future leaders of our nation.
In saying that, it falls on the State to also put in place measures that will ensure no one is left behind.
That means taking the necessary action to rebuild schools destroyed by natural disasters.
If this has not been addressed, then the onus falls on the powers that be to pull out all stops and take appropriate action.
We welcome the suggestions and encourage parents and guardians and students to embrace education.