Former Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka urges rethink on School Zoning system and strongly believes that the increasing unemployment rate among youths in the country can be reduced and avoided.
In his submission to the Constitution Commission, Rabuka is also of the view that the new trend of removing names such as the ‘Fijian’ in Nabua Fijian School and ‘Indian’ in Indian High School should be reversed.
“However, the multiracial composition of the staff and students bodies should continue,” Rabuka said.
Regarding the School Zoning system, he said that schools and institutions established to enhance iTaukei education and bridge the gap between ethnic communities like Adi Cakobau School Queen Victoria School, and Ratu Kadavulevu be exempted from the system and be considered as a special case and allowed to evolve with the developing and widening of Fiji’s cultural base.
“They are the last bastion of iTaukei identity in a country that can have its indigenous community very rapidly marginalised in numbers in an environment of liberalised immigration-for-development policies,” Rabuka said.
“Other ethnically established or religious organisation schools for the other ethnic communities e.g. Tilak High School in Lautoka, Swami Vivekanand School in Nadi, Jai Narayan (formerly Indian) High School, Marist Brothers Schools, must be allowed to continue in their 15 organisational culture and role but without restrictions on non-adherents being admitted on satisfactorily meeting set on academic qualification.”
He said education programme must address the nation’s needs and capabilities, rather than continuing the emphasis on ‘office employment’ as the preferred and respectable career option which he believes will curb poor self-image and ensure gainful employment for youths in the formal or informal labour sectors.
By Indrani Krishna