Yesterday at 10:57 AM ·
The right of religious communities or denominations under Art.22(4) of the Fiji Constitution to 'establish, maintain and manage' places of education, includes by extension a legal right to choose a principal of the same faith. To the extent that the OMRS derogates from that right, I would respectfully suggest that it must defer to the supreme law. The constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion enshrined in Art 22 would be rendered me aningless by an interpretation which permits government policy to override the Constitution. Notwithstanding some State funding to religious schools, religious freedom rights necessitate the ability to exercise discretion in relation to their leadership and staff. Education is not simply about making students literate or numerate. The values and ethos of faith based schools ultimately produces individuals who are better able to contribute to the well being and development of the country.
The present debate suggests there are more profound philosophical questions about the very purpose and aims of education that need to be reflected upon.