Book Review: Secondary Education in Fiji – A Key to the Future by Helen Tavola

Content Summary

Helen Tavola identified three (3) areas as fundamental to Fiji’s education development: Policy variables, political context and government’s Grant-in-school fee subsidy. The three areas formed the basis of her research work. She carried out the fieldwork in 11 schools in different geographic areas in Fiji and among wide ethnic composition. One of the social issues that stood out was the disparity in ethnicity and population of children in schools in the colonial eras and before and after Fiji’s independence in 1970. However, it is ominous that Helen’s attempts to address the three (3) issues hinges on the racial divide among the different ethnic groups and their social and economic standings in Fiji societies. Identifiably, the Native Fijians concentrated more on subsistence and rural agriculture. In retrospect, the other ethnicities view education as a way to liberate themselves and encouraged their children to actively seek further education. This resulted in the disparity in the level of education and qualification. The Native Fijians are generally less educated than the other Fiji ethnicities.

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