27 Sep 2010

Teachers say Fijian language faces death if not given compulsory status

4:47 pm on 27 September 2010

A teachers' representative in Fiji says making Fijian the national language would help preserve a tongue which is at risk of dying out.

The General Secretary of the Fijian Teachers Association, Maika Namudu, welcomes rekindled debate about a national language for the country.

Reports from Fiji say talks have started within the I-Taukei or Indigenous Affairs Ministry on a national language for the country.

Mr Namudu's reaffirmed the association's stand that the Fijian language should be made compulsory in schools, and enough teachers need to be trained so it can be accessed by all.

"Only then will people be forced, especially Fijian people will be forced to learn and speak the language. It has to be nurtured again and see that we teach the language to preserve it"

Mr Namudu is calling for formal training in Fijian from Class One to Year Seven to keep the language alive.