AQEP that began last August and succeeded the AusAID-funded Fiji Education Sector Program that ran from 2003 to 2009 is a package bilateral assistance worth $A30million ($F54.3million) to the Fiji Education sector over the period of 2011 2016. "We want to increase the number of children in the poorest of communities and schools to come to school and make them stay longer in schools," AusAID counselor Sarah Goulding said.
But what does this mean? I guess we can be happy someone has identified the fact that people are keeping their children out of school, not to mention that we don't think twice about how well children are getting taught.
This spreads from kindergarten to university levels. I for one wonder how people get to university and graduate when the fail at pronouncing sometimes the simplest of words.
Holistic education, where the passion for learning and not "getting-stuff-done-to-get-some-grade". There's developing a healthy sceptic mind. Don't just absorb, think about what part of the message is valuable and stay with that, rather than cram all sorts of information because you know you have a test on it next week.
I could go on and on, but the main thing is I wonder where the project will go. It's an "Access to Quality Education" programme. You are considering access to as well as quality of.
This makes me hope that someone will raise the flag on the curriculum as well as the quality of teachers. I've grown up with teachers who I corrected, particularly in primary school; I gave up when I reached secondary. We need to look at what we're teaching children, what valuable, what's needed, what is compulsory and what should be available for those who want to learn more.
There are many peers of mine that complained constantly about the compulsory nature of mathematics. I have no issue with maths, in fact I miss studying it, but I do acknowledge that I have never had to use the differential of a quadratic equation. I occasionally do algebra when to procrastinate when I'm sick of abstract notions, but i do think we should let high school maths be relevant.
Secondly, to look at access, we need to consider both in an out of school time to be able to do the work. Sure, let parents send their children to school but if they have to catch buses they wait over an hour on to get to a home with no power after 6pm, how will they be able to take the quality time to do the work they need to do?
So there we have it. Apparently we'll be seeing improvements. I'll wait for the positive M&E report before I throw a party.