Students who have discipline issues are non-readers – Kalounisiga

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Retired school teacher Suliasi Kalounisiga. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU/FT FILE

About 90 to 95 per cent of primary school students who have discipline issues are non-readers, says retired teacher Suliasi Kalounisiga.

He said in 2019 and 2020, 40 to 50 retired teachers and principals were hired by the Education Ministry to do counselling in schools.

“We were tagged as part-time student mentors,” Mr Kalounisiga said.

“We were trained to become counsellors in primary schools, and we dealt with indisciplined students.

“One teacher was assigned to five schools in a week and when I started, I began to see a trend that 90 to 95 per cent of indisciplined students who I counselled were non-readers.”

He said the students in questions were engaged in “nonsense” activities.

“These students were usually the ones disturbing others, talking back and even those that swore during classes.

“In the classroom, many students participate in discussions, and they are always proud to show other students what they can do.

“Then there are other students who aren’t good at that, but they also want to make a name for themselves, but they come from a different angle, one that gets them into trouble.”

Mr Kalounisiga said after counselling sessions and teaching, the non-readers learnt how to read and this was very clearly evident.

“I’ve seen and I’ve also been told by the teachers and principals of these schools that these children slowly come away from all the problems they used to engage themselves in.”

Questions sent to the ministry on Mr Kalounisiga’s claims on May 16 and 17 remain unanswered.

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