4 April 2019 | News broke today of the impending closure of Vatuvonu Adventist College, a denominational high school on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island.

According to Fiji’s FBC News, denominational leaders in the country met with the staff and management of the school today to inform them of the upcoming closure. Teachers were instructed to leave school after the current school term ends.

FBC News also reported that Adventist students at the institution will be transferred to Navesau Adventist College in Tailevu, a province on Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. Students that are not members of the church will be required to find schooling on their own.

The president of the denomination’s Fiji Mission, Pastor Luke Narabe, confirmed the closure but gave no further details to FBC News. He directed questions to the mission’s secretary, Josateki Talemaitoga, who did not immediately respond to the news outlet.

Fiji’s Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar, confirmed that she was aware of the closure announcement:

“Tomorrow 12.30pm I have a meeting scheduled with the General Secretary so hopefully things turn out positively because at the end of the day it’s the children’s education that is at stake and if we can come to an agreement and see that the children’s studies are not affected by any decision that the church makes.”

Vatuvonu Adventist College was originally closed in 1984 but was then re-opened by the government in 2011. It enrolls 178 students, 48 of which are boarders.

According to the denomination’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, the Adventist Church in Fiji had 26,558 members and 166 churches as of June 30, 2018.

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For an April 10 update to this story including a statement from the Fiji Mission, click here.