Thursday, 30 May 2013

Fiji needs citizenship education_EDITORIAL

Good citizenship is an essential requirement of a cohesive and progressive society and a strong sense of nationhood is very important for the sustainable development of a country. Fiji, through the years had been known to be the representation of the way the world should be. It is a doubt that this phrase could still be used today, looking at the way our country is progressing right now. Poverty issues are rising each year. Think Pacific, an organisation aiming to reduce poverty rates in Fiji stated more than 250,000 people in the Fiji islands lives in poverty while many more lives on or just above the poverty line. Authorities seems to be powerless in enforcing rules to avoiding accidents as number of  road accidents kept increasingover the years. The rise in crime rates committed among youths seems to be unstoppable and rape cases has surprisingly increased, the youngest victim being a nine-month old baby, as reported by the Fiji media.

The police department recorded a total of 2980 sexual crimes, with offences against public morality topped the list with 2153, and rape and attempted rape followed with 448 cases.

We, as citizens need to be critical about this issues that seems to emerge unexpectedly. With the many fights and suggested solutions to the issues addressed, nothing seems to be effective. What people in Fiji need is a change in attitude and I believe this could only be achieved if all citizens are educated with civic values.

One of USP's most prolific researchers in education, Jeremy Dorovolomo said higher education institutions needed to citizenship values, character and civic life as its first objective. He said activities and programs enhancing cooperation, critical thinking and tolerance would bring out the best in students. Director for Higher Education Commission Salote Rabuka said citizenship education was vital for the growth of Fiji youths as they would be future leaders and acquirement of desired attitudinal values would help in making effective decisions. She said the Ministry of Education supports citizenship education, having it integrated into the Social Science program in Fiji. It would be good, however, if this study is integrated in all school programs.

There is a high possibility that crime rates, poverty and road deathscould be reduced if citizens are educated with moral values. What they learn will restrain them from committing unforgivable acts. Everyone would strive to make a living on their own by resorting to other ways of solving problems. In the case of unemployment, they may resort to living the life as those in traditional settings, earning a living through farming and fishing, to name some. Road accidents would be solved in the sense that everyone would be equipped with the knowledge on the necessity of following rules laid down by authorities.

If citizenship education is enforced in homes, work places and schools, Fiji could again claim that yes, they are the representation of how the world should be.






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“A Day in the life of Sports Science Students. This podcasts gives a clear picture of Sports Science student's outreach to the community, particularly to those who are often ignored and looked down upon in society, the Elders at the Old People's home and the mentally challenged students at the Special School in Labasa.