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  • Writer's pictureNational Federation Party - Fiji

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“The honourable minister also seems to be confused, when he talks about previous governments, and he talks about reforms from 2013, he does not realise that from 2006 right up to 2014 there was another Bainimarama Government, the non-elected one, and many of the reforms that the then Minister for Education undertook during that period, almost 50 per cent of them have been reversed by this Minister for Education, Madam Speaker,” Prof Prasad said in response.

Prof Prasad said while the provision of facilities was important and appreciated there were still fundamental questions surrounding quality of education.

“There was no review, no serious study by experts to look at what those reforms led to, what were their outcomes and how far these new reforms have produced outcomes that align with quality.

“For example, there are bits here and there which suggest that there is no basis for the honourable minister to claim that all these reforms are produced in quality outcomes, quality students and what you see, Madam Speaker, some of that is now translating into tertiary institutions. Students with marks are finding all sorts of pathways to get into the university and we have serious issues with respect to those graduates and the quality of those graduates.”

Prof Prasad also said he thought teachers in this country were totally disappointed, demoralised and unhappy about the way in which some of the reforms were undertaken and how they had been dealt with.

“This is the kind of reform that I am talking about that has been instituted by this Government and the ministry by not seriously taking into account what is going on.

“I want the Government to consider this, unless they appoint an independent expert group to look at what has happened over the last few years, how these reforms have been implemented in the areas of curriculum, in the areas of training of teachers and hiring and firing of teachers.

“We will not be sure what these reforms are doing, Madam Speaker. I think what this Government has done is put the education system on a path which appears to be very, very dangerous in terms of the kind of outcome that we are going to produce in the end.

“And quality is one thing that the Honourable Minister for Education and this Government does not understand in education.”

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