THE Fijian language should be made compulsory in the school curriculum ahead of Hindustani, the Fijian Teachers Association said last night.
Association general secretary Maika Namudu said the Fijian language should be made Fiji's national language before any consideration could be give to making Hindustani compulsory in the school curriculum.
This follows a Cabinet endorsement for the compulsory teaching of written and spoken Fijian, Hindustani and English languages in all primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
Cabinet said spoken and written qualifications of the three languages would also be a pre-requisite for employment in the civil service.
The move is aimed at harmonising the ethnic divide in the country and its inculcation into the school curriculum hinges on consultation the Education ministry has with stakeholders, interim Education Minister Netani Sukanaivalua said.
Mr Namudu said following conclusive consultations, the next step would be train teachers to teach.
"The vernacular taught in schools today is half-pie job. We need professionally trained teachers for this. I would suggest we teach English first, then Fijian and many years later Hindustani," he said.
"Teaching all three subjects all at once would be chaotic. It's not easy to make all three subjects compulsory."