Former teacher enters politics – Need for more women in Parliament – Baleilevuka

Former Freebird Institute CEO Mereseini Baleilevuka and The People’s Alliance provisional candidate believes more women are needed in Parliament and she is prepared to be one of them. Picture: SUPPLIED

Former Freebird Institute CEO Mereseini Baleilevuka believes more women are needed in Parliament and she is prepared to be one of them.

The People’s Alliance provisional candidate said her vast experience as an educator, businesswoman, and community and religious worker were the credentials she needed to contest the 2022 General Election.

She believes her experiences in the different roles have prepared her well to serve at the national level.

“My past students and work colleagues, family and friends would agree that I am a servant-leader who is willing to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of others,” she said.

The former educator believes a review must be conducted of the education sector, as she claims teachers today spend more time on paperwork rather than lesson preparation.

“As a result, we are not getting the expected outcomes from the students at the end of their education journey.

“There is a need to review teachers’ key roles which must focus on lesson planning, preparation, teaching and analysing students’ outcomes.”

Ms Baleilevuka also has vast experience in the civil service, having served as a schoolteacher from 1983 to 2005 – teaching both primary and secondary schools in the Western Division.

She resigned as a civil servant in 2005 to join a English language school, the Free Bird Institute, as its founding principal and later served as the chief operations officer, a post she held until she resigned earlier this year.

The Vanuabalavu native said she applied for The People’s Alliance ticket because she believed in the leadership of the party and the experience of the party leader Sitiveni Rabuka as a former prime minister and his willingness to listen to the people.

“His knowledge and experiences as a former prime minister of our nation are needed to help our people come out of the dire situation we are in.

“His humility is Christ-like and I believe he is willing to listen to people. A good leader is also a good listener.”

Despite her tight schedule, Ms Baleilevuka involves herself in many social and community events, assisting vulnerable members of the community.

Over the years she has spent time addressing issues faced by the people – not only in the religious community but also in the wider public by offering spiritual, economical and physical assistance.

She currently serves as a board member for the non-government organisation Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND), and is a member of the Vanuabalavu Education and Scholarship Committee.

Ms Baleilevuka said she wanted to make a difference to as many people as possible.

She said her advocacy would be on impacting the lives of people and communities by working closely with them and giving them hope that anything was possible if they had the right attitude.

Her one hope is that families around the country host serious discussions about the responsibility of every adult to take part in the upcoming election as every vote would count.

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