Druavesi: Drop in pass rate because of lengthy school terms

School students make their way home after their exams on Monday, November 28, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FT FILE

Fijian Teacher’s Association (FTA) president Netani Druavesi says the reason there is a drop in pass rate in the Fiji Year Eight Examinations (FY8E) is because of the lengthy school terms approved by the FijiFirst government.

He was responding to queries from The Fiji Times on the 62 per cent pass rate for the 2022 FY8E compared with 69 per cent in 2019.

Education Ministry acting permanent secretary Timoci Bure said 17,366 students sat for the examination and Year 8 students did not sit for the FY8E in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Druavesi said apart from the pandemic, the lengthy four school terms played a part in the seven per cent drop in FY8E results compared with 2019.

“We feel for the children as they were the last to sit the papers and now they are receiving theirs last — right before the new school term is about to start,” Mr Druavesi said.

“One parent was telling me that his son’s results had dropped compared with the results he was getting when we had the three school terms – so that was really concerning to me as the president because I couldn’t do anything.

“We (FTA) are so thankful that the new Government and ministry are coming in to rearrange and going back to the three terms.”

He said the FTA and teachers would work together with the new government to lift and improve the standard of education in schools.

“The passion for the work and being a teacher has all been lost because of the previous government.

“The previous minister and permanent secretary did not want to listen and did not want to do consultations and the teachers were losing their passion – but now they are happy. Teachers are being reinstated and contracts as well, so the FTA welcomes the new government and ministry and we will work together with them to ensure teachers and students are being looked after.”

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