Education Permanent Secretary Selina Kuruleca disclosed that concerned parents have visited her office seeking assistance in enrolling their children.
Acknowledging an ongoing crisis, she admitted that some parents are facing challenges in registering their children for Early Childhood and Year One, just one week into the new academic year.
Kuruleca emphasized the importance of addressing available spaces, clarifying enrollment requirements, and specifying the responsible party for student enrollment.
According to PS, parents facing difficulties in enrolling their children are being attributed to the previous government’s failure to allocate enough resources.
“But there were no resources allocated in the budget to allow for this influx of new children. Hence, the decision was taken up by the new administration. If some had already enrolled in ECE, let them go. But again, it will depend on the vacancies in the class one stream. So that’s where we’re stuck.”
Kuruleca also sheds light on the nature of the enrollment concerns they have been dealing with.
“Some of these parents are coming, they don’t have any ECE report. They don’t have any school application, they never applied to any school for class one, and now they’re just expecting the schools to take their children. You have to have applied. I have parents coming here asking me to apply on their behalf. That’s the responsibility of the parents to apply directly to the school and submit the information to the school.”
A concerned parent Praveen Chand has stepped forward, asserting that alterations in enrollment criteria have left his son without a school.
Faced with limited choices, he has now enrolled his child at International School Suva.
“We went to the school a couple of times. I spoke to the officials later on. They denied that my son couldn’t get a place in the school. After making that decision, I went to a lot of schools. Actually, I couldn’t get a place for my son. And as the school started, all of my son’s friends went to the school. We bought his bag and school uniform, we bought his books. And my son was still at home.”
The Education Ministry also emphasizes the importance of meeting all enrollment criteria.
This includes the successful completion of Early Childhood Education, the presentation of a birth certificate verified by a district officer, and adherence to the enrollment dates.