Students’ safety

At the lights by the Samabula BSP bank, I noticed that the billboard had been changed.

It now reads “more students in schools and universities than ever before”.

That is so true, but have we increased security for students while they are at school and university?

Is their welfare or safety a concern to administrators of these institutions that their buildings and facilities are kept in tip-top condition?

Do these facilities meet occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations in Fiji? Or are we just more horned in on filling up the classrooms?

I believe often a student has fainted in an overcrowded bus on a rainy day.

When it rains, bus shutters are put down, heat is dissipated from bodies in the bus and soon you have an oven.

Take a crowded classroom of 50 students. Even though there are four ceiling fans, only two are working.

Given the recent very hot and humid Suva weather, it is not a surprise that students would faint in this environment.

This year some mothers are boarding school buses that run from Suva to Nausori because they fear for the safety of their young daughters in primary school who travel on these buses.

They say that once the bus reaches Nasinu, they tend to be near empty as most of the schoolchildren have gotten off.

I strongly urge the authorities to look into these problems and ensure that OHS regulations in Fiji are complied with.

Having a toll-free telephone number where students can call and make reports would help government officers effectively deal with this problem.

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