Students face schooling challenges

femLINKpacific executive director Susan Naisara Grey, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali and Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) executive director Nalini Singh at the at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women campaign. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

A significant number of young people may not be able to attend school in the Northern Division because of the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the claim made by femLinkPacific executive director Susan Grey at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women campaign on Wednesday.

She said the non-governmental organisation had just conducted a series of dialogues in the North and during the discussions, many had highlighted the challenges they were facing.

Ms Grey said while the Education Ministry’s focus had primarily been on teachers, the impact of the pandemic on Northern communities was quite big.

“There’s probably going to be an increasingly, significant, large component of young people that won’t be turning up to school. And what is going to happen,” she said.

Ms Grey said many people were trying to keep their heads above water and providing a daily meal was a huge challenge for them.

“The social ills that are happening in communities, the perpetrators, the safety of young women in communities.

“We are talking about how difficult it was for them to afford data, parents had lost their jobs, how could they download worksheets, the pressures on grandmothers to try and help their grandchildren with schoolwork.”

Questions sent to Education Ministry permanent secretary Dr Anjeela Jokhan on the comments made by Ms Grey remain unanswered.

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