The education system in Fiji comprises public and private schooling. The standard of public schools in Fiji varies quite dramatically, though. While expat students are eligible to enrol in Fiji's public schools, most expat parents don't go for this option due to language and cultural barriers.
Expats in Fiji tend to send their children to private schools, with the majority opting for international schools.
Public schools in Fiji
Public schools in Fiji are open to expat enrolment, with free attendance between the ages of six to 16. That said, funding from the cash-strapped Fijian government is often inadequate, and the result is wide variability in the standard of government schools.
Private and international schools in Fiji
There are only a few international schools throughout Fiji, most of which can be found in Suva and Nadi. Expat parents typically prefer this option for their children. High demand for places can make it challenging to secure a spot in an international school, so if expat families wish to take this route, it's best to start the application process as early as possible.
Fees for international schools are expensive by Fijian standards, and only wealthy Fijian nationals can afford them. It is recommended for expats to negotiate provisions for school fees as part of their salary package.
Special-needs education in Fiji
Parents whose children have learning difficulties or special needs can rest assured that their educational needs will be met. Fiji's constitution mandates school attendance for all children regardless of their ability, and all children should be allowed to learn together wherever possible.
Child with special needs are therefore accommodated in mainstream classrooms as far as possible. In cases where disabilities are too severe, children are placed in specialised facilities catering for their specific needs.
Tutors in Fiji
Tutors are a valuable resource for children arriving in an unfamiliar environment and adjusting to a new curriculum. Hiring a tutor is also helpful for children who struggle in specific subjects such as maths or science, or for those who require assistance with university entrance exams. Some excellent tutoring companies expat parents could try are Papas Tutoring House or the Sunshine Tuition Centre.
►For more on finding a home, see Accommodation in Fiji
►Safety in Fiji provides some useful tips on staying safe in the country
"Fiji is a wonderful place to live because of the welcoming and friendly lifestyle. As Fiji is still developing its economy and resources the standard of living is different from Australia, but there is an immeasurable quality of life created through the support and kindness of the community."
Find out more about life in the island country in our interview with Australian expat Emma.
Are you an expat living in Fiji?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Fiji. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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