| || || Aporosa, S. G.|
| || || Yaqona and education in Fiji : a clash of cultures?|
Author:Aporosa, S. G.
Institution: Massey University.
Subject: Kava (Beverage) -- Economic aspects -- Fiji , Kava plant -- Fiji , Education -- Fiji, Fiji -- Social life and customs
Call No.: Pac GN 671 .F5 A66 2006
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: In the Fiji Islands, a developing nation in the South Pacific, education has been promted as one of several pathways to its development. However, low academic achievement appears to be undermining this strategic focus, and the Fijian Ministry of Education (MoE) have begun to question whether culture and values are factors in under-achievement and are interupting effective education delivery. This exploratory study, believed to be the first on this topic, isolates and investigates the culture of yaqona (commonly known as kava) and its relationship to education delivery. Academic comment concerning yaqona's influence on education delivery is limited, although informal debate and discussion is widespread, with some criticising the traditional practices associated with the use and consumption of the beverage as a significant contributing factor in Fijian educational under-achievement. Thirty-one Teachers, MoE staff, academics and education stakeholders were surveyed and interviewed using a structured questionnaire and semi-formal interviews. It was found that yaqona, a soporific intoxicating beverage, played a vital cultural and economic role in the educational arena and research participants confirmed that the overconsumption of yaqona, both during and after school hours, is having a negative impact upon education delivery. This research shows that the factors that contribute to overconsumption are the cultural significance of yaqona, ceremony and presentation, the State/Community education delivery partnership, limited extra-curricula activity, the ethos of vakaturaga, obligation, bole (a non-aggressive form of competitive consumption), kinship, and masculinity. Despite this, it is argued that the complete removal of yaqona from the school campus would be both impossible and detrimental, threatening limited financial resources and the State/Community partnership, which is vital to the systems of education delivery; together with diluting culture, identity, and notions of self-worth, and therefore perpetuating under-achievement. It is hoped that this thesis will stimulate discussion among education stakeholders in Fiji and the wider Pacific, and add to the literature on under-achievement.