11 Mar 2005

Concern in Fiji over churches allegedly stopping schooling

2:41 pm on 11 March 2005

There's increasing concern in Fiji that some new Christian religions in the country are stopping members from sending their children to school.

Radio Legend says a senior education ministry official, Filipe Jitoko, has confirmed they have received information some students have stopped going to school because of the pressure put on them by the new religious groups.

The Methodist Church says people should not follow such directives as they are misleading and un-Christian.

Its general secretary says he does not know the reason for the new practice but parents will be blamed if children do not go to school and cannot find jobs in the future.

The president of the Fiji Council of Churches has also expressed his disappointment with the new development.

Father Apimeleki Qio says the Council members do not condone such beliefs as schools have a special part to play in the growing up of children.

The ministry of education is planning to bring in legislation compelling parents to send their children to school.