Education begins at home

Fred Wesley | Saturday, January 6, 2018
WE are just a little over a week away from the beginning of the new school term.
Fred Wesley. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU
Fred Wesley. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

It isn't too early to be considering school gear today.

In fact, hundreds of parents may have already begun this exercise some time ago.

As thousands of students around the country continue to enjoy the school holidays, it falls on parents and guardians to be proactive.

Many parents have already started preparing for the new term, which is officially scheduled to start on January 15, 2018. As we get closer to the first term, perhaps it is apt to place value on how well we prepare our children.

The State has actually placed a heavy focus on education over recent years. In 2014, for instance, $370 million was set aside for the Education Ministry, an increase of $101.54 million from 2013. There was a concerted effort to expand into new policy initiatives. It actually set the platform for a major focus on this critical area of development.

As the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama pointed out when he announced the 2014 budget in November, 2013, "2014 will go down as the year we embarked on an education revolution to better equip all our young people for their future and build a Fiji that is not just smarter, but which provides every young person with increased opportunities. It will be a nation in which no young person seeking knowledge, skills and training is left behind because of economic disadvantage, a nation in which poverty is no barrier to learning."

He said all Fijians "will be encouraged and provided the incentive to embrace learning as a means to improve their own lives and the well-being of the nation. Every Fijian will be given the opportunity to pursue excellence, to reach for the stars".

It was a bold investment, the State said.

The education budget was increased to $556m for 2015 and $432.2m for the next year.

Education is critical for the development of any nation. It makes sense then that special attention is placed on it.

That's why preparation is important.

As parents and guardians, we must ensure children are motivated to do well in school. We should be nurturing an appreciation of education. We should be inculcating in our young charges a desire to excel in school, and to do their best.

We start by setting the base. We should get that right first up.

Surely we would want to inculcate in our children the right frame of mind to take advantage of the attention the State has placed on education.

We should, in fact, be lapping up any initiative that raises education on to a very high pedestal.

So if you haven't already started preparations for your children, perhaps today is the day to start.

Education begins at home.

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