The tree that giveth light, giveth de­light (A Poem)

Fiji Sun - - Comments -

Michael Cham­bers,


As the sun sets in beyond the Malolo isles The dark­ness the night brings us was greeted with de­light

Afar on a hill some­thing lit up the dark­ened night

A re­lax­ing sight was there to be­friend me tonight Up in the Tavakubu ranges close to where I re­side

I was truly blessed with the best view of the night Lit up was this ar­tis­ti­cally dec­o­rated pole A beau­ti­ful pic­ture set of an emerg­ing Di­wali tree If I may ask whose bright idea was art thou? It sure was bril­liant think­ing as it just gave me a wow

All to en­lighten the spirit that this an­nual Fes­ti­val of lights bring us To share with love, true spirit and kind­ness Like that you must have al­ready have known Areh soon it will be Di­wali a time for shar­ing with ev­ery­one The thought just wheeled my cal­en­dar dates for­ward

For­ever a bless­ing stat­ing “Day out of the of­fice” And in ad­vance I there­fore would like to wish The Ku­mar’s, the Chan­dra’s, the Prasad’s and the many more I can­not name A Happy Di­wali May the spirit of this fes­tiv­ity bless Fiji

Fiji is sig­na­tory to the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties and a train­ing work­shop was held at the Novo­tel Ho­tel, Nadi on Oc­to­ber 13 and re­ported in the Fiji Sun the next day. A blind Pro­fes­sor in Law in New Zealand and Aus­tralia Ron­ald McCal­lum was a spokesper­son at the work­shop which was also at­tended by the UN Hu­man Rights rep­re­sen­ta­tives with many from around the re­gion. Pro­fes­sor McCal­lum had rightly pointed out in his speech that we “Fi­jians must not crit­i­cise gov­ern­ment but thank and con­grat­u­late them for the po­lit­i­cal will, com­mit­ment, fore­sight and un­der­tak­ings in their im­ple­men­ta­tion through its rat­i­fi­ca­tions of the above UN con­ven­tion.”

It is very sad to note that it took a blind aca­demic from a far to re­mind us Fi­jians of the above state­ment. Thank you so much Pro­fes­sor McCal­lum. There are so many in our coun­try who will not fully ap­pre­ci­ate the sen­ti­ments ex­pressed from an in­di­vid­ual such as he. A car­ing gov­ern­ment in­deed. med­i­ca­tion and went over per­son­ally to Toorak and dropped off the note at Dinem House on Tues­day. I was in­formed that I could see a per­son who ac­tu­ally han­dles such com­plaint and is­sues. I went up to Level Three and met the lady and ex­pressed my dis­ap­point­ment for the fail­ure on the depart­ment to up­date me on the progress of my re­quest. So many ver­bal ex­pla­na­tions was forth­com­ing and she then made nu­mer­ous phone calls to gather in­for­ma­tion from dif­fer­ent peo­ple and she went on fur­ther con­fus­ing me in the process.

I tried to cut the lengthy con­ver­sa­tion short and said the is­sues I had raised were of se­ri­ous na­ture, which could pre­vent in­juries and even save the life of a per­son.

Her re­ply star­tled me. She said that life and death de­pends on God only. The min­is­ter con­cerned should look into this.

To the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion, Mahendra Reddy - if cer­tain par­ents and guardians dis­agree with the school zon­ing sys­tem, al­low them to choose which­ever school they pre­fer for their child, but this au­to­mat­i­cally makes them inel­i­gi­ble for the free school fees and free bus fare scheme. End of story! have the same cal­i­bre of teach­ers with a de­gree and all.

But go­ing to school is just not about learn­ing aca­dem­i­cally. It is also about en­hanc­ing one’s knowl­edge by pre­par­ing them­self for the fu­ture.

So, it is all about the fa­cil­i­ties that is avail­able in the schools such as good play­ing grounds, science lab­o­ra­to­ries, com­puter labs, a li­brary that pro­vides a wide range of in­for­ma­tion, ad­di­tional of ex­tra cur­ricu­lum and many more. Th­ese are some of the main rea­son as to why par­ents and chil­dren pre­fer to choose their own schools. And for zon­ing to be a suc­cess, all schools would have to have the same fa­cil­i­ties as such, even the ru­ral schools.

If zon­ing is good for the stu­dents then mul­ti­ple con­stituen­cies is good for the vot­ers and con­tes­tants. We hardly see Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in Labasa. Yes, I have met the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Mahendra Reddy in Labasa and thank them for their time. But what of Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Brij Lal and Op­po­si­tion MP Bi­man Prasad, I am not sure if they know where Labasa is.

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