CONCERNED parents of local students studying in Fiji were not satisfied with the response given by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Dr Franco Rodie regarding the safety and health condition of their children.
Speaking on behalf of the parents, John Deve told this paper yesterday that they did not fully accept Dr Rodie’s statement given no counselling is done for their children until today.
Deve said since the response was made on Monday through the national broadcaster SIBC, students continue to call them and uttered their fear and ask for help especially if the government could help to have them repatriated.
He said they have been calling on the government when there was only one case and now it reaches four and it makes it harder for them given Fiji is now in lockdown.
“Our children are already in fear and since the response from the PS, they are still yet to be counselled as stated,” he said.
Deve said he feared if the government uses the statement as cover-ups because Lautoka is where the virus exists especially as the Hospital is just next to their doors and people might also have fear as well to visit them.
“The PS also assured us that they are waiting on the Solomon Islands High Commission in Fiji to issue a statement before they can act on.
“For us parents who also got worried, that statement is not making any sense to us. Why waiting on them when the virus is already there or are they waiting for any of them to be infected before action can be done?” he questioned.
He said now the flights are cancelled and they have tried all their best to bring them home but it’s very difficult for them.
Deve said currently the result of lockdown in Fiji have affected the students as they were not allowed to get over to Nadi.
“Currently the Fiji military has conducted roadblocks disallowing anyone from Lautoka to travel over to Nadi,” he said.
The spokesperson for the parents said since the students are not adults, as parents they are really worried for their children,” he said.
He added if the PS is true about the counselling then the ministry should seek all avenues to have counsellors visit the students.
“We want the Ministry to come out clear and inform us about the measures undertaken to guarantee the safety of our children and to tell us how long will they wait to take action,” he said.
By IAN M. KAUKUI