16 Jun 2004

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs says discriminatory education policy should be reviewed

3:36 pm on 16 June 2004

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs says it has never backed Government policies that discriminate against non-indigenous Fijians.

The chairman of the council, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, says the council has always taken an all-inclusive stance, and education is no different.

Ratu Epeli was responding to news about the the Government's plans to provide free education exclusively to indigenous Fijian seventh formers from next year.

He says the policy must be reviewed.

"All children have the right to education, irrespective of colour, race or creed. But that's the policy of the current administration and they should be the one who should stand up to scrutiny about this particular policy, in the long term whether its going to be good, or not."

Ratu Epeli says there will many repecussions for the country from this kind of policy.

But while he says such policies will take their toll on Fiji, the council has no immediate plans to raise the issue with the Government.