The country (Fiji) definitely shows great strife in ensuring there is no excuse for sending a child to school, that without a doubt has been evident for years now. Over the years, as more and more children attend school- the obvious goal now is that these children stay in the school system- living circumstances vary for every individual and this will determine how well-equipped students are for attending school and other aspects such as physical health and mental health.
In a classroom, all students have different interests and subjects that spark their own curiosities and goals- these interests or subjects aren’t necessarily part of the formal education system, areas that normally fall under the extra-curriculum side of the spectrum. Often, these students continue on in the education system struggling with the subjects that are offered in the formal education system and these students are left directionless and without avenues to explore and expand their interests. These areas of interest are often in the subject of the ‘Arts’, which is not given that much attention in the Pacific. The promotion of these other areas of interest can ensure that no student is ever left behind.
For me I have a major educational issue that needs to be regulated by policy.
The need for content assessment. How to check and confirm that the course content delivered to learners in face to face learning in various public higher institutions is of high quality.
How to assess and evaluate the instructors/ facilitators and lecturers of various courses based on time management and relevance of the course taught to the industry
The teaching and learning method needs to be improvised. I believe more practical than theory policy should be introduced in secondary school system.
Most school dropout can’t find job as they are not taught in school about skills and survival.
From my point of view, E- Learning to be stressed alot in our schools especially at the Primary Level .Children nowadays are spending more time on technology and they learnt alot when they see things through visuals aids.Therefore we need good connectivity the network inprder to access alot.This is due to high level 0f school drop outs since most are not using technology at their primary Levels.
Secondly, Zero Tolerance on Corporal Punishment to be reviewed.This is due to the attitude of our children nowadays is so pathetic and they are are not well behaved and this hinder the achievement levels at the respective schools.If government can relook into this so that children can become aware of their Education.
Last but not the least, if clubs to be reinforced in every schools so that children are well equipped with long life skills for better future and their wellbeing.
Quite interesting discussions have taken place on educational issue that need to be regulated my policy. By way of summarizing what has come up in the discussions, the key issues that have arisen include:
I do agree with Sonia that Poor Parenting is one of the biggest contributor to the poor education children are receiving. Children need to be taught before entering the education system and properly prepared for what they will encounter. Parents should ensure that their children are punctual to school and that they should be reminded on the importance of ensuring that their children attend classes. Since the government is playing its part in supporting children financially - its the parents responsibility to provide moral support to their children.
One important area that needs policy is funding for education. The lack of adequate infrastructures and teaching/learning materials needs to be visited. The availability of facilities like the internet is crucial for an effective distant learning programme.
In response to one of the issues mentioned,… the education system is one where leadership plays a crucial role. Although the Open Merit Recruitment system (OMRS) is in place, education sector, to a large extent defies this system. One can have a doctorate in leadership and be a very young person with just 3-5 years of educator experience, ranking quite high on the OMRS while another has an educator experience of 25 years with just a bachelor’s degree. Even though qualification matters, and like most professions would agree to young leaders ‘have gusto’, education sector is one where experience, tolerance, WISDOM, and adaptability matter more. It is a step by step movement up the leadership ladder. You miss a rung, consequences are there. Some have moved by missing out 2 to 3 rungs going straight from Teacher directly to Head of school. In the past few years, the Fiji system has seen a lot of issues with recruitment, with quite a number of unhappy people, resulting in a large number of teachers migrating to greener pastures.
Policies should be designed to accommodate the above mentions.