Heavy com­pul­sory re­quire­ments

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Kirti Pa­tel, Lautoka

Upon any pro­gramme or func­tion be­ing held in schools, some schools make it com­pul­sory for the school stu­dents to come in a par­tic­u­lar at­tire which is suit­able for that par­tic­u­lar pro­gramme or func­tion be­ing held in the school. It has come to my at­ten­tion that many par­ents are strug­gling to find the suit­able type of dress­ing ma­te­rial in the last minute shop­ping. Re­cently the drug aware­ness day was ob­served through­out the schools in Fiji. Many school chil­dren es­pe­cially the pri­mary school stu­dents were told to come with par­tic­u­lar colours of rib­bons, socks or scarfs.

One par­tic­u­lar school told the stu­dents to come in two dif­fer­ent colours of socks, that is one in red and the other in blue. There were many par­ents who were dis­turbed of this com­pul­sory re­quire­ment as they had to take their time out go­ing around from shop to shop look­ing for those stuffs which are not avail­able in most of the shops vis­ited. Fork­ing out for those ad­di­tional ex­penses is an­other is­sue. Such di­rec­tives nor­mally come from the school it­self.

While this type of prepa­ra­tions for the school pro­gramme looks good, the author­i­ties have to re­alise that it’s not easy to do last minute shop­ping as things are not avail­able ev­ery-time in ev­ery shops be­sides cost is a ma­jor fac­tor to pon­der on. School uni­forms are com­pul­sory, not other things that are used once in a while. Such things if made op­tional will be fair to all stu­dents. Many par­ents have raised their con­cerns and frus­tra­tions, and it will be ap­pre­ci­ated if the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion looks into this. So much for the free school ges­tures; I hope to hear from the author­i­ties soon or the least ex­pect some un­der­stand­ing.

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