Letters to the Editor – January 20, 2020

Livai Ikanikoda passes the ball during the Fiji 7s team training session at the Uprising Beach Resort sports complex in Pacifi c Harbour earlier this month. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

The best for Hamilton and Sydney

READING with envy that New Zealand and the Bitzboks are returning with some big names such as Molia, Koroi, Kok, Afrika, Franco and company, this will simply add more spice to Hamilton and Sydney sevens. Our best 13 have been chosen and Tuivuaka and Ikanikoda, both impact players, are making a return to the series. The departure and return of experienced players show teams change focus and strategy to counter the new laws of the game. In the Fiji team, if you consider the past two to three years, we have only three experienced hands — Tuwai, Dranisinukula and Apenisa. Our focus has been the young players for them to step up to the challenge. Let’s see how it all fares in Hamilton, the experience against the young. Joka na qito sevens toso Viti show them to them. Mai Hamiltoni! SHALWYN PRASAD, Nabua, Suva

High pressure system

THE high pressure (HP) system that was situated to the far south-west of the Fiji Group played its part well from our perspective. It served as a decent barrier to disallow the passage of TC Tino, through the middle of the Fiji Group as some overseas models had earlier forecasted. It managed to remain strong and persistent enough to steer TC Tino much further east and away from the major landmass and the islands of the Lau Group. Its accelerated trek from Friday onwards was also a great help. While there was structural and infrastructural damage to utilities from the heavy rain, flooding, landslides and strong winds, we were in all spared the devastating destruction from its full wrath and fury. Luckily, we were all a good distance away from it during its trek. We were indeed lucky this time. Were TC Sarai and Tino, the forecasted Category 2 or more cyclones that were forecasted for this cyclone season? Can we now say that’s it? I believe that there are a few more low pressures (LP) areas to the north-west of us which may have a tendency to unfortunately develop into TCs at worst. I hope not. Anyway, I hope that while the helpful HP to the south will soon disintegrate, I also hope that there will be other HPs developing south of us to steer away any pesky LPs and TCs wannabees in the north who wish to make a visit to our waters. These new HPs should just allow the LPs who have no aspiration to become a TC or even a disturbance or depression to enter our waters. These kinds of LPs are indeed most welcome to visit because they can bring much needed rain during our festive season. I am sure EFL and WAF will also agree with that arrangement. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle Pacific Harbour

Development and flooding

FLOODING seems to be our problem most of the time during heavy rains. We have a Ministry of Waterways which is tasked to (hopefully) check waterways and if there is a need, dredge it or make it able to take heavy loads of water. Whenever someone or an organisation decides to build, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is done. It’s the law. Well, all I can see is flooding. Is the EIA a real thing or is it something that is written on paper and when asked, the people say “of course an EIA was done”. Then a heavy rain occurs and that EIA and the people who signed it are washed away in the very flood they were there to see that it won’t happen. Outside Lautoka I see development and during small rains, drains overflow on to the road. As I drive by I say to myself, “that’s the quality of the EIA people that we have”. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Performance of teachers

I REFER to Simon Hazelman’s letter titled “Teacher performance” (19/01). I respect Simon’s opinion as I am of the belief that every citizen has the right to an opinion which must be respected. Contrary to his opinion, I must remind my good friend that there are teachers who value the teaching profession and carry out their duties diligently with or without the APA increment. These teachers have a positive attitude, dress appropriately to school, act smart, are passionate about their job, are creative, show empathy and are fully committed in activities inside and outside the classroom. There are teachers out there who are early to school and prepare well for their classes. As a result their students enjoy their classes. There are teachers who prepare remedial activities for the slow learners and go out of their way to help these slow learners attain a pass. Then there are teachers who sacrifice their evenings and Saturdays to take extra classes to help improve the percentage pass rate. Remember there’s no extra pay for this sacrifice made by these teachers. There are teachers who help with fundraising activities so that their students can take part in extracurricular activities like soccer, volleyball, rugby, netball and athletics. These teachers do not want their children to be deprived of activities such as Kaji Rugby, Coke Games, secondary and primary schools IDC and the Deans competition to name a few. There are teachers who are role models in their communities and lead community-based activities. Their presence is felt during funerals, weddings and other religious activities such as church and during Ramayan recitals. There are teachers who make home visits to make their children feel special. There are teachers who camp with students during sporting activities. They sleep on the floor and leave aside their family comfort. There are teachers whose students talk highly about them openly because these teachers have left a mark and an impression. There are teachers who have developed writers such as Mr Hazelman. There are teachers who have nurtured lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers, nurses, government ministers and the list goes on. Dear Simon, there are good teachers and these teachers must be rewarded. The rate at which our teachers are migrating for greener pastures must ring alarm bells and if the welfare of teachers is not looked after well, our neighbours Australia and NZ will have the cream of our teachers. I agree that teachers have much to learn in terms of capacity building and I’m sure that they’ll do that happily provided they are provided resources, assistance, motivation and a decent pay. The experiences of a few bad teachers must not be compared against the hard work and commitment of the many good teachers out there. Teachers must be given due respect and recognition in our society and continuous outbursts and negative comments will only demoralise our teachers. To our teachers, all the best! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

High price to pay

LEADER of the National Federation Party Professor Biman Prasad says the current Fiji Government is not used to thinking, consulting and listening (FT 18/1). So what is the Government used to? That apparently was the case with the current Australian government which had failed to think through, consult and listen to expert advice on the grave matter of climate change. Now Australians are paying the high price for their government’s arrogance and apathy. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Who and when

I HAD a good laugh when I read Allen’s who, who, who letter about the GCC building. Many people await the completion of the Lautoka Aquatic Pool. When, when when. SUNIL KUMAR Lautoka

Never too late

GOOD to read (ST 19/1) that Government is sending some men to go and help in the Australian bushfires. Never too late. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Incomplete structure

DID a certain city council really pass on to their ratepayers the cost for an incomplete aquatic structure by way of a “Special City Rate” which is additional to the normal city rates? NIGEL FIU Owls Perch, Lautoka

Singapore experience

HOW are you and where you from, she asked while trying to sell her products in her shop. Fiji, I replied. Oh! I just returned from a holiday in NZ and met many Fijians, she added. How’s your government doing? Fine, I replied. So why are Fijians leaving Fiji. Searching for greener pastures, I responded with a confused smile. DAN URA Lautoka

Damaged textbooks

In her reply to concerned parents regarding lost or damaged textbooks, Education Minister Rosy Akbar stated that no fees should be incurred if a student damaged or lost their textbook (FT 17/01). One factor that wasn’t mentioned is the theft of textbooks from responsible students by students who have either damaged or lost theirs to make up for the loss. It’s a common issue in schools and goes with other school material like calculators, pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers, etc. It would be interesting for schools to statically document these issues to see the extent of such abuse and negligence. We could very well be encouraging thieving for all we know! Simon Hazelman Savusavu

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