November 18, 2016 10:51 pm

Ministry denies banning Rabuka from attending school event

The education ministry today clarified that no directive was issued to ban Social Democratic Liberal Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka from attending a school event. In a statement, the ministry said there was no policy preventing schools from inviting whomever they wished to attend school events. “No directive was issued by the Minister for Education or […]

The education ministry today clarified that no directive was issued to ban Social Democratic Liberal Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka from attending a school event.

Former Army Commander and Prime Minister of Fiji Major General (retired) Sitiveni Rabuka. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)
Former Army Commander and Prime Minister of Fiji Major General (retired) Sitiveni Rabuka. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire).

In a statement, the ministry said there was no policy preventing schools from inviting whomever they wished to attend school events.

“No directive was issued by the Minister for Education or the Permanent Secretary for Education that Sitiveni Rabuka is banned from attending a school event….Upon investigation, it was found that a Ministry of Education civil servant acted unilaterally without ministerial or permanent secretary approval.”

In an earlier statement, Mr Rabuka said he was invited by the Thomas Baker Memorial School in Nanoko, Navosa to officiate at the school’s prizegiving ceremony but the education ministry instructed the Principal to cancel the invitation.

RABUKA: “I question the motive of the Ministry making political decisions like this ill-conceived one, to ban me as Party Leader of SODELPA, from speaking to our young children. Civil servants including senior Education officials should be apolitical especially given that all taxpayers fund the government, not only the FijiFirst voters.”

Mr Rabuka blamed Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy for issuing the directive.

RABUKA: “It is a great disappointment, that no less than an academic, the Minister for Education, is afraid of ideas and playing politics with our schools.”