The Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fiji – has made the difficult decision to close “Vatuvonu Adventist High School” in Vanua Levu, at the end of Term 1 – effective from next week Thursday.

This was the statement made by the Seventh Day Adventist Church General-Secretary – Joe Talemaitoga yesterday.

In response-Education Minister – Rosy Akbar says the main focus of the Ministry and the Government is Academic Education, and there is no way they will interfere with the ‘Faith Teachings’ in the school.

Talemaitoga has stated the Church is committed to the re-opening of the school when it is able to provide a full complement of Adventist Teachers.

He stated that this has been done despite considerable efforts made by the Church to resolve the issue over the past few months, including a number of appeals to the Ministry of Education.

Akbar says they will respect the decision of the church but hopes the church changes its decision on the closure of the school because it will affect the  community and children but they are ready to work with the church as long as they appoint the head of school.

Talemaitoga says the appointment of non-Adventist teachers prevents the Church from maintaining and managing Vatuvonu Adventist High School as a place where the Church’s distinctive religious beliefs and practices are taught and upheld.

He also confirmed they will be having further discussions with the Permanent Secretary of Education on the matter. There are about 180 Students at the Vatuvonu Adventist High School.

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