The Fiji Times
Our learning levels are low, says Kuruleca
WE have low learning levels, says permanent secretary for Education Selina Kuruleca.
She told the Fiji National Education Summit 2023 in Nadi yesterday that this was one of the main challenges that continue to affect Fiji’s education system.
“We have literacy and numeracy challenges,” said Ms Kuruleca. “We have high fail levels in Year 8. “We have high fail levels in the STEM subjects, which are science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
Ms Kuruleca said children with disabilities had the lowest learning achievement.
“Again not only because of the child but because of the scaffolding of the support factors surrounding the child in the areas of education.”
She said the post-primary dropout rates were also increasing, especially in the rural areas.
“The highest rates continue to be in our rural areas. There are more boys that drop out of school than girls.
“We have high youth unemployment and underemployment. Currently, this stands at 37 per cent of youths under the UNESCO definition of the youth, which is the ages of 15 to 24.”
Ms Kuruleca said the level of literacy and numeracy decreased as the child progressed within the education system.
“At ECEs, 22 per cent of our children attend Year 1, at primary school 14.5 per cent of our children fall in the critical category, in literacy, and 23 per cent in numeracy.
“So, even at the very basic primary school level, we are starting to lose our children to numeracy because it is becoming difficult.”
Ms Kuruleca said the challenge was on institutions to make literacy and numeracy subjects interesting to retain students.
“How do we make maths interesting?
“How do we ensure we do not lose our students to numeracy?”