Positive school zoning policy Amit Kumar, Suva
I am writing to express my full support for the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy and what he said about the school zoning policy. However, the leader of National Federation Party and Opposition Member of Parliament, Biman Prasad, has clearly shown his bitterness towards Mr Reddy who has been doing wonders in Fiji’s education system which was neglected for decades. The zoning policy has been there for years and I would like to pose a question to Mr Prasad: What were you doing in the past regarding this issue? The Ministry of Education brought about the zoning policy after several consultations with various stakeholders before its implementation. The policy helps reduce many problems and I think the Minister for Education is 100 per cent correct in his statements about it.
It encourages children to go to their nearby schools. It reduces overcrowding in urban schools hence, it will reduce traffic congestion. The children will have good learning space, access to better learning resources, allows a sound student-teacher ratio for effective teaching and learning. The teachers will be evenly distributed with load and more contact hours for teachers with these students also gives a fair assessment on all the teachers.
Further, it will save a lot of time for parents because children will be able to reach their school and home on time. The children will have more productive hours of learning at home because they will not be tired after travelling.
Additionally, there won’t be travelling hassles during rainy or bad weather conditions.
Also, the increase in the roll of the rural schools will have a direct boost from the Government’s Free Education Grant money which can be utilised to improve the existing infrastructure. Hence, Government’s dream to achieve a level playing field for all schools as far as teaching and learning are concerned are better utilised. Mr Prasad has failed to understand about the rural-urban drift and how this zoning policy is holistically addressing such social economic issues. It seems to me that Mr Prasad’s ideas are getting out dated.
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy.