MOE seeks warden assistance in boarding schools

June 11, 2024 12:34 pm

[Sourc: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

The Ministry of Education is seeking more support to tackle substance abuse, especially in boarding schools.

This has been confirmed by Permanent Secretary Selina Kuruleca.

Speaking during the Standing Committee on Social Affairs deputy chair Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure suggested introducing stricter measures like police searches with K9 Units.

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“The children nowadays, they are totally different. Very different. And they are very smart. Very smart. And they live in another timeline, I think. They are very smart. They literally take the drugs, especially to school. They sell it and some students nowadays, they are even bigger than their teachers. And they are not afraid to do that.”

While acknowledging the K9 Unit assistance, the Permanent Secretary emphasized the Ministry’s focus on long-term solutions.

“Our teachers are overburdened. The teacher wakes up at 4 am, does the morning prep. Then the breakfast, then goes to the classroom. Returns to their home at 3 pm, change, there’s afternoon duties. If they’re on duty again for night study, the teacher doesn’t go to sleep until about 10 or 11. And this is one teacher to so many boarders. So one of the things we’ve put into our budget is the need for warden assistance. Just like the USP concept, so the warden assistant full-time job is supervision of the children.”

Kurucelca says they have also revived Board of Governors in all government schools adding that there is a need to get creative to deal with students involved in drugs.