No favouritism, ministry warns

SCHOOL heads have been warned not to enrol new students based on their religion or otherwise.

This was made clear by the Education Ministry’s deputy secretary Timoci Bure following concerns from parents that a faith-based operated school was giving priority to students from the same denomination.

Mr Bure said this was not allowed and he has informed school heads around the country on the issue.

“The policy is that they should be taking students living within their zones. They should not give priority to students because of their religion, marks or other things,” he said.

“That’s discrimination.

“I’ve already given an advice and have also sent an email to all school heads throughout Fiji that they should be clear with the Constitution.

“The Constitution does not allow for any form of discrimination. They must know the right of the child to education. That’s very clear,” Mr Bure said.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry earlier launched the zoning policy that saw students only enrolling and attending schools in their zones.

In an earlier interview with this newspaper, former Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said free choices in school enrolments would be restricted under this policy.

According to the ministry, the zoning policy was to also ensure that there was no overcrowding of students in some schools in the country.

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