SCOUTS AND GIRL GUIDES IN SCHOOLS
Susana Tuisawau, Suva.
I thank Ritesh Prasad for all the information in his letter regarding the scouting movement in schools and fully endorse the sentiments expressed. May I thank and congratulate the Ministry of Education and especially the honourable Minister, for eventually seeing the value of the scouting movement to mainstream it back into the school programme.
For years the teachers of Fiji had been strongly advocating for the due recognition and strengthening of these valuable extra-curricular activities such as Scouting and Girl Guides in the schools. The reason for their being re-introduced being that they contribute to character building and valuable life skills which the academic subjects are unable to fulfill.
May I add that there were other extremely valuable extra-curricular activities which some schools-especially secondary schools, used to offer that students greatly enjoyed and which achieved outstanding results. These were : The Duke of Edinburgh Scheme; Rangers; Clubs e.g. Young Farmers Club, Music/Choral Club; Arts Club; Science Club to name only a few.
What had happened was that attention had somewhat been diverted away from these very valuable, character building extra -curricular activities for various reasons.
Some reasons given were because of OHS; teachers’ workload and the overemphasis on academic excellence.
However, what some of us had noticed with great concern has been the replacement of these valuable extra-curricular activities with military cadetship in secondary schools.
This is the militarisation of civilian society which is a concern as it runs contrary to the principles of a democracy and the promotion of a democratic society.
Indeed, it would distract attention and much needed time in the schools’ program to support the ministry’s initiative to build up the positive civilian movements in the schools such as Scouting and Girl Guides; etc.
I salute you Scouts and Girl Guides and wish you a much brighter future in the schools! Ms Tuisawau will receive a Parker pen from the Fiji Sun as our Letter of the Week winner this week.