29 October, 2016, 12:00 am
I believe that all parents and guardians will stand with the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji in welcoming the Ministry of Education’s new zoning policy, giving parents the freedom of choice on the school they wish to put their children in (FT 25/10).
However, as clarified, this freedom of choice applies to parents, students and schools in rural areas only as the School Zoning Policy Procedure 6(a) states that “zoning will be implemented only in the urban areas”.
The Ministry of Education has now allowed freedom of choice for parents to send their children to their faith-based school or one that teaches students Hindi, the iTaukei language or their mother tongue.
School zoning was never an issue before our current Government took over but since the Government has a lot of stake in providing free education for Fijians, it should be allowed to set rules and conditions to achieve its objectives, and school zoning is one.
Workers living in the Suva-Nausori corridor will notice that the traffic to Suva and Nausori flows during peak hours when the school holidays are on, but changes when school reopens.
I believe that school zoning, if carefully thought out and implemented will help ease the flow of traffic during peak hours.
Parents in urban areas are to abide by the rules laid out by the Ministry of Education with regards to its zoning policy, but if parents want to use their freedom of choice, then they should be paying from their pockets the school fees which Government is willing to fork out for all Fijian students.