Role of Education for National Development

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Josua Cavalevu
Prime Minister's Hurricane Relief Committee, Fiji.

I present these thoughts as a private citizen of Fiji, as one who has some concern for this issue; so in sharing these thoughts with you I admit that I am not an educationist, and really do not have any professional justification for speaking on this subject. All I can claim for myself, however, is an interest in the subject of education in the broadest sense of the word. My father used to tell me that "education does not only mean that we go to school; a man is continually educated until the day he dies". I think we all have some appreciation of the deep meaning of that statement, for education means a change in man's conduct of life. It means the upgrading of a man's ability to choose the best alternative available in any circumstance he faces. It means the development of the person to prepare him to adopt the best approach to a problem at any given time. Education may be broadly defined as 'adjustment ability to a changing situation and environment'. We all know that experience is the greatest educationist of all.

In approaching this subject, may we first examine some basic elements of society and try to determine the place of education as one of the fundamental elements of any community. Then we will examine the way education relates and interacts with other elements within that society. Then we might look, with that picture in mind, at Fiji's multi-racial context and bring out some of the basic differences which contribute to some of the problems facing education and adjustment in Fiji today. Then we shall quickly and broadly analyse one or two basic problems and needs in order to formulate some objectives and the possible role of education in national development. The analysis is by no means comprehensive but readers can add to it. I choose to speak more on the operational, 'people...
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