Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro says it is important to note that Year 13 or Form 7 is provided free for secondary studying and students are encouraged to utilize this program otherwise there will be a huge loss to schools as students opt for foundation studies which will be an additional budgetary cost to government.
This is a clarification that foundation studies is still not under TELS as students were turned away while seeking the assistance to go for the foundation program.
When asked by fijivillage News, Radrodro clarified that the cabinet decision sought by the Ministry on the 18th of January was to reinstate the TSLS funding for students who had completed and passed their foundation studies and had achieved the set GPA required which was an equivalent of Year 13 cut off marks of 250/400 marks and above.
Radrodro says the cabinet paper, however, did not express this in clear terms, resulting in some confusion and incorrect statements issued from the government, which the Ministry sincerely regrets.
He says in the recent cabinet meeting held this week, the Ministry of Education had sought clarifications and correction of the said assistance.
The Ministry has been advised to submit the changes properly through a revised cabinet paper, which it is now preparing to submit at the next cabinet meeting.
Radrodro says in line with their policy, the Ministry of Education is also advising schools to take all their Year 13 students who pass and not set any cut off mark which is pushing students to alternatively seek tertiary education or foundation.
He says the Coalition Government's intention is to make education accessible and affordable to all students/parents and guardians in Fiji.
The Minister says just as they have repealed certain policies like the zoning and the three school terms, the removal of cut off marks for students to progress to Year 13 will ensure no student is discriminated against and the burden on parents of having to send their children to alternative schools, where they spend on different uniforms etc for Year 13, because they don't make the cutoff mark may no longer be an issue.
Radrodro says any inconvenience to students, parents, and guardians is sincerely regretted.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations