Student concerns

Fiji National University (FNU) students Shivnel Lal, Siddharth Raman, Bhawisha Chand and Pritesh Lal after the 2018/2019 Budget consultation in Samabula yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Fiji National University (FNU) students Shivnel Lal, Siddharth Raman, Bhawisha Chand and Pritesh Lal after the 2018/2019 Budget consultation in Samabula yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

THE need to upgrade facilities, lack of space and resource capacity are some of the issues Fiji National University (FNU) Derrick Campus students hope would be addressed in the new financial year.

These issues were raised with the Minister for Economy and Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday during Government’s first 2018/2019 Budget submissions at the FNU Derrick Campus in Samabula.

Raising his concern in a jam packed lecture room of students, FNU Derrick Campus Students Association president Rizwan Asgar said the classrooms at the campus were not big enough to cater for all students.

He also asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to consider upgrading the facilities in the new budget, so that students would benefit from better learning facilities.

Another FNU second year student Siddharth Raman raised the issue of overcrowding, particularly in the campus’ library.

“It’s really funny, I can also count the number power points in our library, and it’s a double storey library and there’s about 60 power-points in our library,” Mr Raman said.

“So many places are crowded, for example the foyer, it’s so overcrowded that we don’t have space to sit, the library is crowded that the students don’t have places to sit.

“We ask the college to upgrade chairs and increase the capacity. I’m not complaining I’m just saying it can be improved.”

In his response, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said these issues were usually raised to Government by way of submissions from the FNU council and its vice-chancellor.

He also explained the components of Government’s funding towards FNU, an operating and capital expenditure.

These capital expenditure components he said were distributed across all FNU campuses through capital grants.

“Our focus at the moment is on the quality of education,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He also explained that the resource disparity in several FNU campuses was a result of the consolidation of institutions to form the university years back.

“Of course some of these institutions that came along into FNU, some of them were better resourced than others. So now the resources need to be basically shared,” he said.

Meanwhile, the two FNU students also thanked Government for ts various initiatives towards education.

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