Secondary education in Fiji : an investigation into school effectiveness in a changing society
The major issue addressed in this thesis is the quality of secondary education in Fiji, investigating the variables which affect school effectiveness. The theoretical and conceptual perceptives on the quality of education are initially examined with a review of the literature, contrasting western perspectives with those specifically related to developing countries. The main empirical part of this thesis is based on a study of eleven secondary schools in Fiji and the Form Four students in these schools. The aim was to investigate what the critical factors are for improving school effectiveness, measured largely in terms of pupil achievement. The thesis concludes that in-school factors are more important than the antecedent variables of the individual children, such as race or socio-economic status. The stability and strength of school management, principalship, combined with the judicious use of resources emerged as the critical factors in school effectiveness. Various policy implications relating to secondary education in Fiji are drawn on the basis of these findings. A historical study of education in Fiji from pre-colonial times to the present focusses on education within its socio-political parameters and tests the hypothesis that socio-economic and political contexts provide the demand for education. The Grant-in-aid system of education was established in 1916 which provided for government and the people to enter into a partnership in the provision of education. This system is studied as it has proved to be both a strength and a major weakness of the Fiji's education system.