FAWG Slams Payout
Suva, FIJI – A leading educational NGO today slammed the interim Minister of Finance for his support of the controversial back pay made to interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama and other military officers, saying it was a racket and the funds should have been invested in education.”In these financially burdened times where parents find it especially hard to pay for schooling, this payment to members of the military makes a racket of public money,” said Fiji Association of Women Graduates President, Winifereti Nainoca.
“Fiji deserves good governance from its leaders, not face-saving measures,” said the FAWG President.
Yesterday interim Finance Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, defended the payment.
“That money should have been invested in the real future of Fiji through education, education, education,” claimed Nainoca, echoing a speech by former British PM Tony Blair.
“The real victims of this backpay scandal are the young men and women who we are supposed to be preparing for life and the workforce,” said Nainoca.
“What applies to one Public Servant should apply to all who are paid by public funds and public taxes. The special treatment in this case is highly irregular,” she added.
There have been three ministers for education since the December 2006 coup-de-tat.
Nainoca explained that with each the new Education Minister comes a new agenda and the repeated changes had a detrimental effect on the system all the way to the classroom.
“Education needs stewardship and consistency. It needs stable leadership so educators can do the right thing for our students” said Nainoca.
FAWG had earlier made a submission to the Fiji Education Commission outlining the necessity to fund counselling all schools in Fiji and the benefits of formalising those appointments.
FAWG is committed to improving society in Fiji by promoting further education for women and girls and is a member of the International Federation of University Women.