The SDL Government has proposed an education blueprint to provide free education to all Fijian and Rotuman form 7 students, leaving non-indigenous students out of the scheme.
Fijian and Rotuman students attending form seven will qualify to get full scholarship from the Government to cover tuition, text books, hostel fees, where applicable, and other costs compliments of the State from next year.
The move under the pretext of affirmative action programme will be yet another addition to the host of other state sponsored discriminatory polices. The programmes have marginalised the Indian community in all facets of government assistance. It is in breach of section 38 and 44 of the Constitution, the Social Justice Act as well as the Human Rights Act. The proposed education plan also contravenes the International Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination that Fiji has ratified.
Preferential treatment to the indigenous students will further harm race relations exacerbating social problems of the Indian community in view of the fact that poverty is now more pronounced among Indians than the indigenous community.