24 Sep 2003

Fiji cabinet to provide accountancy and economics tuition fees for indigenous Fijian students

9:19 am on 24 September 2003

Fiji's cabinet has agreed to provide full tuition fees for indigenous Fijian students studying acounting and economics in Forms 5 and 6.

The Daily Post reports the cabinet has also agreed to set up a special fund to purchase computers and introduce computer studies at all indigenous schools.

The decisions follow concerns raised by the minister of Education Ro Teimumu Kepa, that while Indian students are taking up school subjects more relevant to employment, indigenous Fijians are studying unmarketable subjects like history and geography.

But while the indigenous Fijian Teachers Association has welcomed the decisions, the non-indigenous Fiji Teachers Union has kicked up a storm.

It's general secretary Agni Deo Singh, has criticized the decision and questioned who would provide such assistance to the 40 per cent of indigenous Fijian students who attend schools managed by other communities.

Mr Singh says these Fijian students have already been missing out on the Qarase government's affirmative action programme.

Mr Singh says it's the responsibility of the government to look after all the people of the country it governs.