National Federation Party - Fiji
Education Minister has become a "mis-guided missile"
Thursday 27th August 2020
The National Federation Party says Minister for Education Rosy Akbar is now behaving like a “mis-guided missile” and become a “motor-mouth” instead of addressing fundamental concerns that have plagued the education system in Fiji.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says Akbar has clearly “lost the plot” in terms of looking after the welfare of teachers and students during a time when the education sector is crucial to maintaining some semblance of normality.
“Recently, the Minister has been engaging in senseless rhetoric not befitting any officer of the Education Ministry. The last thing one expects to see is the Minister being vitriolic and venomous against a Union representing thousands of teachers (Fiji Teachers Union) by accusing them of serving their personal and financial interests”.
“Then last week, she was extensively reported by the Fiji Times to have made remarks while addressing heads of schools in a meeting in Rakiraki, which can only be described as absolute nonsense, lacking empathy and humanitarianism”.
“The Minister firstly ridiculed a school principal for saying “convict” instead of Covid, saying how could she have hired such a school head”.
“Then she is reported as telling school heads if they cannot deal with their teachers, they should step down”.
“And thirdly the Minister, in what was most unbecoming given her own experiences both as a child and a teacher that was relayed by herself in Parliament on a few occasions, said the least parents could do was to provide school lunches to their children because if Government asked schools to do so, teachers would have to cook and pound ginger and garlic”.
“It is a matter of wonderment that firstly being a former senior teacher well-versed with the plight of students and as a politician supposedly proficient in her interactions with the community, the Minister chose to make such remarks that totally lack human values, understanding, compassion and totally against the reality on the ground”.
“It is symptomatic of how the Fiji First government, that is clutching at straws, is now behaving. It is a sick joke”.
“The Minister is obviously delusional. Because no one in their right frame of mind will take cheap shots and play gutter-level politics by denigrating all and sundry including teachers, parents and students, particularly in these critical times”.
“The Minister’s attempt to justify the lack of any provision in the 2020-21 budget to provide lunch to impoverished students or those from unemployed families is totally illogical and highly ridiculous”.
“We have seen that parents and members of the community are fully engrossed in supporting efforts by the civil society to provide school meals through their volunteerism daily. This has nothing to do with the Minister’s claim of teachers to be required to pound garlic, ginger and cook if Government provided funds to feed our hungry children”.
“The Minister can support an allocation for $7 million for a new office complex for the Prime Minister, $11.3 million grant to FBC and $40 million to build 4 new police stations, but doesn’t care if our school children go hungry”.
“Why is this government leaving our vulnerable children behind when it consistently preaches that no one will be left behind?”
“How does the Minister expect teachers to impart knowledge to hungry students?”
The foundation and pillars of education are in serious danger of decimation unless and until the Minister and indeed the government that she serves, decide to get out of their dark tinted vehicles and see for themselves the rot that is setting in in all facets of education”.
Video by NFP Leader Biman Prasad via our Official Facebook Page: