The Minister for Education Honorable Rosy Akbar agrees with Lenora Qereqeretabua that the debate should not be about the price of the Walesi set-top box and hopes the NFP Member of Parliament has learned from her mistake and does better research before bringing such topics up in Parliament again.

“Ms Qereqeretabua brought the topic up in Parliament, claiming that set-top boxes were too expensive, along with other incorrect information, forcing us to correct her poorly researched statements in the poorly researched Fiji Times article.”

“Ms Qereqeretabua appears to have retracted this in her statement to CFL, but still does not quite understand the simple explanation about accessibility so I will simplify it for her.”

Here are some basic simplified points:

To begin with, let us define what supplementary content is – it is simply additional content designed to engage students during the COVID-19 pandemic and is non-examinable (students will not be tested).

The supplementary content shown on Walesi is completely derived from the curriculum. This curriculum is also provided on all school resources, thus any student or parent without Walesi access can easily access it. This means all students will have access to this.

Once again, the content on Walesi, like the worksheets and radio program, is supplementary.

Lessons on Walesi are not official classes and students will not be tested on what is aired. Once school resumes, we assure our parents and guardians that their children will be taught all of this supplementary content.

The content will also be available on several online platforms. Walesi is merely one of the dissemination points for the supplementary content.

Not only is the content easily accessible through a plethora of mediums by all Fijians, but the students will learn it all over again if they have missed out.

Again, the honourable NFP member has completely missed the point. This is supplementary content based on the curriculum to keep students engaged and get parents involved. When school begins, which we hope will be soon, students will be taught again on this curriculum.

The Minister apologises to parents who may be worried about their children missing out on their curriculum after reading misinformation in the Fiji Times.

Once again, we reiterate that the Ministry has made every effort to keep children engaged not just academically but in terms of values.

“Ignore the politics and tune in with your children and play an active role in their education during these uncertain times,” said Minister Akbar.

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