School in Savusavu Fiji for an Australian Boy

School in Savusavu Fiji for an Aussie boy

(Son in his school shirt and sandals – first day)

Seven-year-old goes to school in Savusavu, Fiji

school in Savusavu
©Exploramum and Explorason – Preparing for the first day of school in Savusavu

We have to visit the “Head Teacher” at the school in Savusavu to see if my son will be accepted into Khemendra Central Primary School. It is an international school with mainly Fijian and Fiji-Indian children, and the school teaches in English.

There is a marina near here with many yachts and the town has several international workers and business owners, so there are a few children from around the world. Children start school in Savusavu here at 6 years of age.

Khemendra Centra School
©Exploramum and Explorason – outside of the school

The school in Savusavu accept my son in the next class up from what he would be in Australia – Class 3, so he is really thrilled. We have our meeting and are introduced to all the teachers with a morning tea comprising of sweet milky tea – which my son really loves. Wish they could equip him with some skills on how t become a great luxury travel experts. Anyway, he is still in Primary. So I bet there is still some long way to go. At least our experience on this single parent travel has made him some form of a young travel expert. I bet it is something that every family attests to when they go on a family travel.

Anyway, the tea is served with whole bananas, some sort of fried vegetable ball, and spicy dried peas that make my eyes water and nose run like a tap. We are instructed by Mr. Singh – the Head Teacher, that my son must have a ‘school cut’, clean and cut his nails, and purchase a uniform shirt, school sandals, toothbrush and toothpaste, an exercise book, pencils, and a backpack. They also have to have 2 hanker-chiefs to wave, clean, blow noses etc.

We have been offered free tuition in exchange for leaving behind children’s books from Australia for the school library. If we do not donate the books, then we are asked to pay $10 FJ – which is about $5.50 AU – either way it is a bargain! Meeting over. Off we head to town.

The haircut wait is over 1 hour, as every kid in town is doing the same thing. My child is not happy, as he had just had a trim two weeks ago.

school in Savusavu
©Exploramum and Explorason – Getting a haircut for school

The uniform and sandals cost $6 AU each, and I am happy. School in Savusavu is very different here than in Australia. Children must be in the classroom by 8:00 a.m. The first hour is for cleanliness and hygiene.

school
©Exploramum and Explorason – cleaning the school

This includes the children cleaning the school classroom and yard.

Fiji School
©Exploramum and Explorason – window cleaning at the school

School in Savusavu also includes a health check for the kids to ensure clean nails and hair, and the uniform is tidy and washed etc.

school on an island
©Exploramum and Explorason – sweeping the classroom

Children at the school in Savusavu must bring a toothbrush and toothpaste, and two bottles of water – one bottle is for drinking, and one for washing the teeth. Teeth are cleaned after lunch each day.

Children called the teacher “ma’am” and “sir”, and great respect is shown. Mind you, my son was in shock when a boy was smacked 7 X on the head the first day. He also tells me that the teacher left the room and all the kids were yelling. When she came back she got a stick and all the kids that “confessed” got 2 strikes, and all the kids that failed to confess, received 3 whacks with the stick – needless to say, I have instructed him to inform her she is not permitted to touch him with that stick, as we do not hit children in order to learn in Australia.

Other rules include parents and teachers must be properly attired to be on school grounds.

Over the knee skirts and covered shoulders for ladies with modest attire, and most men wear a pocket sulu if they teach. Parents can only go on the school grounds for meetings, and must otherwise wait off the school grounds.

classroom
©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason with the class

Teachers often have meetings and the classrooms are all left unattended – while the boys engage in a bit of rough and tumble. The kids love it!

Fiji classroom
©Exploramum and Explorason – Fiji classroom
(The Teacher is in a meeting and the students are left on their own)

School in Savusavu ends at 3:00 p.m. after the children have cleaned the classroom and yard.

After school, my boy is off to play on the beach, or up two trees (which they deem as pirate ships), with his friends Tamsyn and Griffin – who are sailing around the world. At the end of the first day, I ask him how school was. “It was easy – hard Mum”.

He was way ahead in English, and way behind in Hindi, Fijian and Maths. As I go to pack him his Vegemite sandwich the next day, he asks me to learn to make “Roti”, the Indian bread so he can be the same as the other kids.

My Indian neighbor tells him to call in each morning and she will make him two Roti rolls with Dahl for his lunch, I will get an Indian cooking lesson this weekend to learn to make them myself.

Life here is different. We either walk the 2 km each way to the school in Savusavu and our road meanders past the hot springs blowing steam along the shores of the beach, (so my average walk a day is 8 km), and by the creek. Sometimes locals stop to give us a ride – which is nice too.

Savusavu hot springs
©Exploramum and Explorason – Hot Springs near the school

As we head off today, we gaze across the beach to the next island. I notice we have slowed down. Nothing is a rush, and I notice we are both smiling.

School in Savusavu is very different.

Update: Explorason ceased going to school because of the hitting.  we discussed this with the education department in the town, but by then we did not feel confident for him to return, so he homeschooled on a yacht with another family.

Questions and Comments

  • Would you take your child to a foreign local school?
  • How do you ensure your child is up to date with his studies?
  • Please shar your opinions and comments with us.
hot springs
©Exploramum and Explorason – Savusavu school and hot springs

3 comments

  1. We visited that school when we were in Savusavu a few years ago. We have some books we could donate to the Library but getting them there is a problem. We were impressed with the school and the respect shown by the children to us and how they all work with limited facilities and equipment. We were there just after a cyclone and gave a small donation to the school.

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