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Written By : KUNAL KUMAR Deputy Head Boy. Labasa Fifth, Sixth & Seventh Form College (Labasa College) has undoubtedly become one of the most successful high schools in Fiji and the South Pacific region in the five odd decades of its existence.
Labasa College was established as Labasa Secondary School (LSS) in 1954 and was known as that until 1978 when the name “Labasa College” was incepted. In its brief history, College, as it has been profoundly abbreviated all over the Northern Division, has achieved overwhelming success in almost every aspect of high school life ranging from academic excellence to extra-curricular activities and sporting supremacy. Thus, in a very apt fashion, a past principal, the Late Mr. Parma Nand Sharma (Principal from 1990-2000) had in his leadership inaugurated the phrase “The Pride of Vanua Levu” together with its name, which not only reflects the success of past teachers and students but it also motivates the new batch, recruited each year, to continue working towards upholding the phrase with the deserved respect and dignity with which it was initiated.
The College, as its official address suggests is only made up of forms 5, 6 and 7, with the current roll of almost 550 students being divided into five streams of Form 5, five streams of Form 6 and six streams of Form 7. Being one of the few remaining Government funded high schools, Labasa College also provides hostel facilities for boarding students (for both boys and girls). It is also subjected to hosting major educational programs for the publics of the Northern Division. This includes various courses provided by the University of the South Pacific as well as Curriculum seminars, workshops and moderations for teachers. The honour of holding various competitions including the Annual Northern Zonal Team Mathematics Competition and the Titration Competition is also forwarded to the College.
Today, the College has almost every learning essential present within its boundaries ranging from the library, to proper Science and Computer Laboratories and of recent times, free internet services as well. However, even without these services, the students of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s have done enough to lift the image of the school to where it stands today. Now, a peek into the real success story of Labasa College! To begin with, Labasa College is an academically excellent institution whereby the College continuously attains a pass rate in the vicinity of the 100per cent mark if not exactly 100per cent and that too in both the Fiji School Leaving Certificate Examination and the Fiji Seventh Form Examination. Thus, almost half of the student population of various local tertiary institutions such as the Fiji School of Medicine and the University of the South Pacific is made up of ex – Labasa College students. Many of our students have also qualified to undertake tertiary programs in overseas countries such as New Zealand, Australia, India, Japan, and just last year our Head Boy received a scholarship in undertaking IB in Canada. Just taking the year 2007 as an example, where the College recorded a 100per cent pass rate in the FSLCE, almost half of those who passed recording a mark above 300 (out of 400) as well as the highest mark in the nation (385/400). There was a similar result for the FSFE where although we did not manage to attain a 100per cent pass rate but still recorded the highest in the nation (370/400).
In addition, the College has been actively taken part in various extra curricular activities which have yielded great interest and excellence on the part of the students. Students (and teachers alike) have continuously attained excellence in the Fiji Mathematics Competitions with Labasa College being constantly ranked in the top three alongside the likes of Natabua High School and Yat Sen Secondary School. At this point, I would like to note that our Form 7 Team of 2004 was the National Champion and the 2006 Team were National Runners-Up. The Science and Mathematics Departments has reached a milestone with many students consistently ranking in the top five to seven percent of Australasian Competitions such as the ICAS Science, ICAS Maths, ICAS Computer Skills, AMC and the Royal Australian Chemistry Quiz and taking out Certificates of Distinction, High Distinction and Medal Awards. Competitions in Chemistry such as CSSP Titrations and Chem Quiz have also added to the fame with Labasa College winning the senior and advanced categories in Titration as well as a handful of students being awarded top three ranks in the Chem Quiz. However, due to the schedule of the IQ Active Competition, the College has not done so well in it, but the performance of last years team surely spiced up the competition whereby the team lost by a point to the defending champions in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, the 2008 team was stranded from the Preliminary Round due to the circulation false information by the Fiji Television Ltd.
However, the reputation of the College should not be let to be blemished by such instances. At this point, I would like to note that Labasa College was one of the powerhouses in the FBCL Radio Quiz, winning in on a number of occasions. Moreover, Labasa College has also accomplished quite a feat in sports. Our Athletics Team has been constantly improving and thus managed to win the Macuata Zone Finals last year, however, this year, we had to settle for second place. Despite that, the team bettered their performance at the National Finals winning a medal of each colour (best performance by a Macuata Zone School). Our Soccer boys consistently bring glory to the College and last years senior team was ranked in the top eight in the FSSSA Tournament as well as being Northern Champions, represented the North in the IDC Tournament. We also remain the powerhouses in both the U-17 and U-19 Rugby Competitions in the North and hope to create a place for ourselves in the Deans Trophy Challenge in a not too distant future.
To conclude, Labasa College is the ideal high school in the nation because it provides for all that an ideal student needs and should have in order to be successful in life.
And undoubtedly, the success stories of ex-students like Anare Somumu, Dr. Brij Lal and so many including those residing in the countries of the Pacific Rim and beyond will always fly high as a reminder of their reception of an ideal education in an ideal school.