Dialogue Fiji has welcomed the announcement of the back-to-school initiative by the Fijian Government. The NGO believes that any initiative which assists Fijian children in their education pursuits is welcomed, and that the current cost of living pressures makes a strong case for this assistance announced by the Government.
Dialogue Fiji Executive Director, Nilesh Lal says given the years of populist policies and the propagation of a culture of rent seeking behaviour, they naturally are wary when state handouts and other welfare initiatives are announced.
He says every child deserves to go to school with dignity, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds and every child deserves to have their basic needs met.
He adds no child should now go to school barefoot, with torn bags or without an umbrella or raincoat, or in shabby uniform.
The Executive Director says the level of state assistance provided to Fijian parents for children's education is very comprehensive and there should now be no excuse not to send children to school.
He further says it is important that, as a society, we take the necessary steps to ensure that the rights of every child are realised and protected.
Lal further says in this case, however, they believe that the back-to-school initiative meets the threshold which outweighs its economic costs. The Executive Director adds other countries, such as Australia, have also recently announced such financial support for parents in light of the current cost of living pressures.
He says the NSW Government recently introduced $150 back to school vouchers, per child to assist with uniform, textbooks and stationery costs.
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