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Part II ANALYTIC SECTION

6.0 PROGRESS TOWARDS EFA GOALS AND TARGETS (1990 – 1999)

Through the commitments the Government has made to international conventions and declarations, in particular those outlined below, the Government has also recognised the following national Goals in relation to education.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Fiji ratified the CRC on August 13th 1993, thereby, making a commitment to the child’s right to education. Article 28 of CRC establishes that right. Education is recognised to be essential for all children. The article stresses the right must be achieved on the basis of equal opportunity". This in summary includes:

International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)

Fiji endorsed the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in September 1994. As such, the Government pledged:

Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Fiji acceded to the CEDAW . By doing so, the Government acknowledges the strategic objectives contained within CEDAW relating to the elimination of gender discrimination against girls and women. These include:

Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development

Fiji was a signatory to 1995 Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and thereby, pledged their commitment to the rights and goals relating to education that are contained in this declaration. In summary these are:

6.0 Progress toward goals and targets

6.1 Early Childhood Education

Indicator 1: Gross enrolment rate in Early Childhood Development Programmes

Table 1

Year

Number of children

Population 3-5 year

Gross enrolment

enrolled in ECE

age group

ratio

1994

6,344

57,572

11.00%

1995

7,032

56,701

12.40%

1996

8,457

56,267

15.03%

1997

7,416

55,852

13.28%

1998

8,466

55,442

15.30%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report.

The low gross enrolment for early childhood education shows the lack of awareness of such form of education amongst the communities in Fiji. Early childhood education has only been accessible to children in the urban centres, particularly those in the cities and towns or in areas where there are those who know how to operate this particular type of school. Early Childhood Education was virtually unknown in the rural areas.

With awareness campaigns being initiated by pre-school officers of the Ministry of Education the local communities have now taken the initiative to set up their own pre-school centres. In the last three years the idea has spread quickly to the rural areas and we now see more and more centres being established in the rural community.

Indicator 2: Percentage of new entrants who have some form of ECE

Table 2

Year

New entrants

New entrants with

Percentage

ECE experience

with ECD exp.

1994

20,595

3,497

17.00%

1995

19,815

3,497

17.60%

1996

20,838

3,697

18.10%

1997

20,386

4,547

21.60%

1998

21,837

4,559

22.40%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

The percentage of children who enter school with at least one year of Early Childhood Education behind them is slowly increasing as the community awareness and commitment to ECD becomes more apparent.

6.2 Primary Education

Indicator 3: Apparent Gross Intake Rates in Primary Education

a] Apparent gross intake rate - total

Table 3

Year

New entrants

Population. 6 year

Gross intake

Class 1

age group

rate %

1994

20,595

17,903

115.00%

1995

19,815

17,618

112.50%

1996

20,386

17,478

116.64%

1997

21,072

17,355

121.42%

1998

21,837

17,234

125.71%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

The gross intake rate is very high for Fiji and continues to get higher. The analysis by individual age groups of the new intake in to Class 1 shows that there are a lot of under-age children entering Class 1 every year. There is a high proportion of children who enter class aged 5 years and this may be attributed to the number of children who are now attending pre-school education. The high gross intake may also be a result of some of the recent policies and programmes, such as the Compulsory Education project. It does demonstrate that those children who are legally expected to be in school are actually attending.

b] Apparent gross intake rate – by ethnicity

Table 4

Fijians

Indians

Others

Year

No in School

Population

Gross

No in School

Population

Gross

No in School

Population

Gross

Class 1

Aged 6

Intake %

Class 1

Aged 6

Intake %

Class 1

Aged 6

Intake %

1996

12,272

9,801

125.21%

7,199

6,701

107.43%

915

976

93.75%

1997

12,364

9,911

124.75%

7,685

6,510

118.05%

1,023

977

104.71%

1998

13,233

10,307

128.39%

7,663

6,324

121.17%

941

977

96.32%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

Comparing the gross intake rate for the major ethnic groups in Fiji it can be seen that the ethnic Fijians have the highest gross intake rate. This is followed by the rate for Indians, following the trend set by the Fijians. The two ethnic groups are doing well in getting their children to enter school at the correct age for entry.

Looking at the gross intake for the ‘others’ ethnic group it is seen that they have a low gross intake rate for the years 1996 and 1998. This shows that some children who should have enrolled at school have not yet done so. In 1998 the gross intake rate was 96.32% showing that there was a remaining 3.68% of children who are not yet enrolled at school.

c] Apparent gross intake rare – by gender

Table 5

Male

Female

Year

No in School

Population

Gross

No in School

Population

Gross

Class 1

Aged 6

Intake %

Class 1

Aged 6

Intake %

1996

10,661

9050

117.80%

9,725

8428

115.39%

1997

10,953

8990

121.80%

10,119

8365

120.97%

1998

11,380

8931

127.40%

10,457

8302

125.96%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

In comparing the gross intake rates along gender lines, the gross intake rate for males is slightly

higher than that of females. However the difference is not high enough to be a cause for concern

Indicator 4: Apparent Net Intake Rates in Primary Education

a] Total net intake rates

Table 6

Year

New entrants in

Population. 6 year

Net intake

Class 1 aged 6

age group

rate %

1994

11625

17903

64.90%

1995

10087

17618

61.20%

1996

11009

17478

62.90%

1997

11664

17355

67.20%

1998

14362

17234

83.34%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

The net intake rate was very low for the three years from 1995 and increased dramatically in 1998. This rate shows that some of the 6 year old students are at other class levels and have entered the school system at an age other than that of the legal age.

b] Net intake rate by ethnicity

Table 7

Fijians

Indians

Others

Year

No in School

Population

Net

No in School

Population

Net

No in School

Population

Net

Class 1 6yrs

Aged 6

Intake %

Class 1 6yrs

Aged 6

Intake %

Class 1 6yrs

Aged 6

Intake %

1996

6,942

9801

70.83%

3555

6701

53.05%

512

976

52.40%

1997

7,065

9911

71.28%

4004

6510

61.51%

595

977

60.90%

1998

8,759

10307

84.98%

4966

6324

78.53%

637

977

65.20%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

In comparing the net intake rates for ethnic groups it is noted that the rate for the ethnic Fijians is higher than that of the other ethnic groups. The lower rate for the Indians shows that their children are entering Class 1 as a much lower age that the official age of entry. The low intake rate for the ‘others’ is looked at with some concern due to their correspondingly low gross intake rate.

c] Net intake rate by gender

Table 8

Male

Female

Year

No in School

Population

Net

No in School

Population

Net

Class 1 6yrs

Aged 6

Intake %

Class 1 6yrs

Aged 6

Intake %

1996

5,773

9,050

63.79%

5,236

8,428

62.13%

1997

6,107

8,990

67.93%

5,557

8,365

66.43%

1998

7,458

8,931

83.51%

6,904

8,302

83.16%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

There is not much difference between the net intake rates for male and female.

Indicator 5: Gross enrolment ratios in primary education

a] Gross enrolment ratio: Class 1-6

Table 9

Year

Total enrolment in

Total enrolment

Total population

Gross

Grade 1-6

official primary age

Age 6-11 years

enrolment ratio [%]

1996

115,666

102,762

105,169

109.98%

1997

115965

103,208

105,273

110.16%

1998

116410

104,759

105,392

110.45%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

The gross enrolment ratio continues to increase from 1996 to 1998 showing the improvement in access to basic education in Fiji. Universal primary education has almost been achieved for lass 1-6 as shown by the large enrolment ratio.

b] Gross enrolment ratio : Class 8

Table 10

Total enrolment in

Total No of 6-13 year

Gross enrolment ratio

Year

Class 1 -8/F2

old population

%

1996

152802

142824

106.99%

1997

152813

143527

106.45%

1998

153350

144254

106.30%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

Considering the full primary cycle, Class 1-8, Fiji still has a high gross enrolment ratio. There is an overlap between primary and secondary school levels at the Class 7 & 8 levels in primary and Form 1 & 2 at the secondary level. Class 7 & 8 is equivalent to Form 1 & 2 in the secondary school level and the enrolment of the two equivalent levels have to be combined when calculating enrolment ratios up to Class 7 & 8.

The lower gross enrolment, when extended to Class 8, shows the effect of some drop-out after Class 6 or in between classes. Class 6 is the point where students sit the external examination called the Fiji Intermediate Entrance Examination [FIEE] This is usually a cause of drop –out as some students do not make it to Class 7 or Form 1.

c] Gross enrolment ratio – Class 1-8: Ethnic groups

Table 11

Fijians

Indians

Others

Year

No in School

Population

Gross

No in School

Population

Gross

No in School

Population

Gross

Class 1 -8

Aged 1-13

enrol ratio

Class 1 -8

Aged 1-13

enrol ratio

Class 1 -8

Aged 1-13

enrol ratio

1996

82,120

75,566

108.67%

63,749

59,914

106.40%

6,933

7,344

94.40%

1997

83,777

76,920

101.59%

58,177

59,380

97.97%

6,461

7,400

87.31%

1998

86,227

78,301

110.12%

60,425

58,869

102.64%

6,698

7,449

89.92%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

The gross enrolment ratio for Class 1-6 is higher for Fijians compared to the other groups. For the ‘others’ the gross enrolment ratio is less than 100% which may indicate a problem of access to schooling for this ethnic group.

d] Gross enrolment ratio – Class 1-8: Ethnic groups

Table 12

Fijians

Indians

Others

Year

No in School

Population

Gross

No in School

Population

Gross

No in School

Population

Gross

Class 1 -8

Aged 1-13

enrol ratio

Class 1 -8

Aged 1-13

enrol ratio

Class 1 -8

Aged 1-13

enrol ratio

1996

82,120

75,566

108.67%

63,749

59,914

106.40%

6,933

7,344

94.40%

1997

83,777

76,920

101.59%

58,177

59,380

97.97%

6,461

7,400

87.31%

1998

86,227

78,301

110.12%

60,425

58,869

102.64%

6,698

7,449

89.92%

Source: Ministry of Education. Department of Statistics Annual Report

When extending the class range to Class 8 it is found that the ethnic Fijians are still enjoying a high gross enrolment ratio compared to the other ethnic groups. The rates for the other two ethnic groups have dropped significantly in comparison.

It may be deduced therefore that access to primary schooling may be better for ethnic Fijians than for the other ethnic groups.


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