Government’s Policy on Establishment of Technical Colleges in Fiji
· The Ministry of Education has begun its reforms of Fiji’s tertiary technical education system with the establishment of ten technical colleges around the country in 2016.
· This new initiative has received an allocation of $7 million to begin work in 2015 and envisaged to improve the quality of technical education in Fiji and to promoting it as an attractive alternative to university study. Government has so far established two technical colleges, one in the North and the other in Nadi.
· Recently, the Nadroga Provincial Council has indicated the Nadroga/Navosa Provincial High School located in Cuvu, Nadroga will now become a registered technical college as per alignment with Government’s policy on technical colleges.
· The decision to convert the Nadroga / Navosa Provincial High School into a technical college was made without thorough consultation with impacted stakeholders who are – the parents of students of the school, the students and current teachers, the villagers of Nadroga/Navosa and the faith – based organizations that have provided support to the school over the years.
What will this Change Mean for Nadroga/Navosa Provincial High School:
· Of critical concern is that this significant change will greatly impact the way of life of indigenous Fijians who have relied on the school for their education needs. Present students are used to the environment, culture, and way of life at the school and will find it hard to adjust to any forced change let alone a new school environment.
· Majority of the students are from the very remote parts of the Nadroga/Navosa province who experience economic hardships. Faith based organizations currently support parents with the educational needs of students at the school. This support will be foregone if the school is transformed into a technical college and current students have to attend other schools further from the area.
· Approximately 50-60 student’s board at the school and such significant change will be difficult to adjust to with the risk that this change will result in some of the current students falling out of the education system altogether.
· Parents will have to pay more to send their children a new school which will further strain finances.
· Presently, the Ministry of Education has only said it will find schools for the current students. This is causing great uncertainty with parents, the students, the teachers, and the villagers of Nadroga/Navosa as there is a lack of clarity from the Government and the Ministry of Education as to what will happen next.
WHAT WE ARE ASKING FOR: "We the undersigned, strongly disagree with Governments plan to convert Nadroga/Navosa High School into a technical college. We hereby, petition the Parliament of Fiji to direct, according to relevant powers within the Standing Orders, that a relevant committee review the decision to transform Nadroga/Navosa High School into a technical college with the possibility of calling for Government to rescind its decision in this regard.
We would also like the following clarifications to be provided -
· What is the basis or criteria’s used to select schools/institutions to be used as technical colleges;
· Where will the 10 technical colleges be located and will these also be located in the maritime islands;
· What is the socio-economic impact of such change to families and communities impacted by the Ministry’s decision;
· Who pays for fees of students attending the technical colleges;
· What is the planned technical college intake per year and will the students be sourced entirely from the Nadroga/Navosa area?
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU SIGN: We would like this petition submitted in Parliament at the July Parliamentary Sitting of 2015 so we request that on collecting all the signatures you send this petition form to the following address in a sealed envelope before or on Friday 3 July, 2015.
PARLIAMENT OF FIJI
BY PLACING YOUR SIGNATURE AND DETAILS ON THIS DOCUMENT YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTOOD AND AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS PETTION SET OUT ABOVE AND ALSO THE FOLLOWING:
1. THAT YOU CONFIRM THAT YOU ARE EITHER 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OVER.
2. THAT YOU HAVE NOT BEEN COERCED OR FORCED TO PROVIDE YOUR SIGNATURE AND DETAILS THIS PETITION.
3. THAT STRICTLY NO MONEY OR DONATION IN KIND HAS BEEN OFFERED OR EXCHANGED FOR YOUR SIGNATURE. PLEASE NOTE: THAT WE, AS A GROUP INITIATING THIS PETITION DO NOT AND WILL NOT CONDONE OR ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUCH CONDUCT OR LOSSES INCURRED AS A RESULT.
4. THAT YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE PETITION WAS READ AND/OR EXPLAINED TO YOU IN THE LANGUAGE YOU ARE MOST FAMILIAR WITH.
Name of Signature Collector: ______________________________
Phone Contact: ______________________________
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