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  • Writer's pictureNational Federation Party - Fiji

Arrogant and Condescending

December 12, 2021

Education Minister Premila Kumar’s arrogant and condescending comments last week at Naloto Primary School tell us everything that is wrong with the Fiji First Government.

Re-opening the rebuilt school, which was damaged in Cyclone Winston in 2016, Minister Kumar said the Government had spent $1.6 million. She asked community members how they could have raised that money by themselves.

In her words: “How will you raise $1.6 million. Tell me. It will never happen. That’s why we stepped in to assist the community”.

Why did the Minister talk down to the people of Naloto? Did she think they were stupid?

Her plea for the community’s gratitude is pathetic. If anything, people should ask her why it took nearly six years for the work to be done.

It is the Government’s job to rebuild cyclone-damaged schools. Our taxes pay the Minister and her Ministry to do it. Minister Kumar is behaving as if she has done the community a favour.

Who is this Minister to try to claim the credit for spending taxpayers’ money to re-build a school?

It is the leadership of the community – the parents, old students, religious and social organisations and local businesses – that created our schools decades ago. Dedicated teachers and staff made them sound places of learning.

In the last 15 years, that progress has gone backwards as the government shuts out the community and tries to control every aspect of education. This includes school fund-raising and even who may speak in school assemblies.

The NFP will return the control of schools to the communities who built them. We will support and consult communities, not dictate to them and talk down to them.

We cannot wait for the end of this government.

Lenora Qereqeretabua


Member of Parliament


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