MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 3:30PM 31/05/13

CAPTION:?PS Education Dr. Brij Lal with Northern Principals at the Conference.?

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1.?LELEAN HOLDS FIRST EVER HISTORIC STUDENT PARADE?- Rainy weather conditions didn?t deter students and cadets of Lelean Memorial School to put on their best performance for their first ever pass out parade.

 

2.?PUBLIC SERVICE APPOINTS ACTING PERMANENT SECRETARY?- The Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr Josefa Serulagilagi today announced the appointment of Mr Osea Naitura Cawaru as the Acting Permanent Secretary for Defence, National Security and Immigration.

 

3.?PUBLIC SERVICE REACHES OUT TO COMMUNITIES?- The Public Service Commission (PSC) has embarked on its visitations to communities in an effort to ensure that members of the public in particular those living in the rural areas are aware of services provided.

 

4.?PROMOTION OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY THROUGH EDUCATION -?The Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts is committed to raising the profile of culture through the education system.

 

5.?FIJI AND INDONESIA COLLABORATE TO ENHANCE URBAN PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT –The visit by a nine member team of experts from Indonesia?s Ministry of Public Works to assist Fiji?s municipalities in the field of urban planning and management is a milestone for the country.

 

6.?NEW VEHICLES TO BOOST OPERATIONS –Government has today handed over six new fire trucks to the National Fire Authority (NFA ?in an effort to improve its services.

7.?NORTHERN PRINCIPALS REMINDED TO BE EFFECTIVE AS LEADERS –School principals in the Northern Division have been encouraged to improve their performance in order to provide high quality education for all students.

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1.?LELEAN HOLDS FIRST EVER HISTORIC STUDENT PARADE

 

Rainy weather conditions didn?t deter students and cadets of Lelean Memorial School to put on their best performance for their first ever pass out parade.

 

Braving rain weather conditions, the forms 3,4 and 5 students and cadets were reminded of government?s determination to make education more accessible through its educational reforms.

 

Speaking at the first ever pass out parade for Lelean Memorial School, Commissioner Central, Laisenia Tuitubou said that government is putting its best efforts in the areas of education so that Fiji can gain from the potential and talents that children have, ensuring that Fiji remains a peaceful and independent nation.

 

?The government is keen to make Fiji a knowledge based society. It has brought in a lot of changes in trying to ensure that our children are given the best opportunities to grow,? Mr Tuitubou said.

 

?Free tuition fees, free text books and free bus fares are just some of the policies of government that is encouraging us to go to school and acquire knowledge.?

 

The Divisional Commissioner Central also added that the drills that the cadets learnt today is the basis of discipline.

 

?Discipline that should be transferable to your daily lives, ensuring that you are as obedient to your leaders as you are on the parade ground,? Mr Tuitubou said.

 

Commissioner Tuitubou also pointed out that parents and guardians should be able to translate the pride of their children on the parade grounds today to that of grooming a potential resource for Fiji in the future.

 

?Let us stop the culture of blaming someone for our situations but rather look for faultiness in our lives and correct them,? Mr Tuitubou said.

 

?Let us use the time we have now and do something for our country.?

 

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2.?PUBLIC SERVICE APPOINTS ACTING PERMANENT SECRETARY

 

The Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr Josefa Serulagilagi today announced the appointment of Mr Osea Naitura Cawaru as the Acting Permanent Secretary for Defence, National Security and Immigration.

 

Mr Cawaru replaces Mr Jale Walker Fotofili who is on pre-retirement leave with effect from 20 May 2013 and will retire from the Service on?16 June 2013.

 

As a senior civil servant and former Deputy Secretary with the Ministry of Labour, Mr Cawaru is expected to ensure the continuous service delivery for the Ministry of Defence.

 

This acting position period will also allow the Commission to undertake the necessary requirements in making an appointment to the vacant Permanent Secretary position.

 

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3.?PUBLIC SERVICE REACHES OUT TO COMMUNITIES

 

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has embarked on its visitations to communities in an effort to ensure that members of the public in particular those living in the rural areas are aware of services provided.

 

PSC permanent secretary, Parmesh Chand said that in line with the 2013 Annual Corporate Plan strategy of heightening the visibility of the Public Service, the PSC has so far visited the interior of the province of Navosa and the island of Rotuma during the month of May.

 

?From the two places visited, PSC has been able to facilitate and disseminate the information and showcase the services provided by PSC especially on scholarship matters to the students, teachers and members of the community in Navosa and Rotuma.?

 

Mr Chand said that common queries from students, teachers, parents and guardians on both the trips centred on what students should do to obtain the quality marks. He added there were also discussions on parental responsibilities and expectations, supervised studies and organized study programs, hard work by students and having a shared goal and vision by both will help.

 

There were four (4) primary schools and one (1) secondary school that visited the PSC booth during the exposition in Rotuma while there were altogether 311 students that visited the PSC booth in Navosa.

 

The trips were made possible through a Government roadshow that was organised by the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management.

 

PSC will also be making use of other national and local events to showcase its services in other divisions around Fiji for instance the Sugar Festival in Lautoka and the Friendly North Carnival in Labasa.

 

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4.?PROMOTION OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY THROUGH EDUCATION

The Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts is committed to raising the profile of culture through the education system.

Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Mr Filipe Bole said close linkages between culture and education would enhance understandings of our identity and the development of individual creative talent and skills of Fiji?s younger generation.

Having represented Fiji to some of the regional festivals to witness an array of talent and skills amongst youths today, Mr Bole believes the country is richly blessed with raw talents that need to be enhanced.

?I have therefore instructed the Department of Heritage and the Curriculum Development Unit of the Ministry of Education to review the teaching of culture in the education system and come up with strategies to strengthen the teaching of culture through practical and relevant programs,? Mr Bole said.

?Activities included should allow our children to understand better their identity and also develop an early appreciation of their creative ability.?

The current initiative of mainstreaming of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses in secondary schools by the Ministry of Education complements the initiative with the selection of courses that stimulate students? creative abilities such as carpentry, fashion and design, music and cooking.

Mr Bole also highlighted that a national cultural festival will be organised by the Fiji Arts Council in 2015.

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5.?FIJI AND INDONESIA COLLABORATE TO ENHANCE URBAN PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT

The visit by a nine member team of experts from Indonesia?s Ministry of Public Works to assist Fiji?s municipalities in the field of urban planning and management is a milestone for the country.

Minister for Local Government, Urban Development and Housing, Mr Samuela Saumatua, while welcoming the Indonesian delegation, said the visit is an opportunity for knowledge and skills transfer between the two countries.

?Now knowledge and skills transfer between Indonesia and Fiji in the field of urban planning, engineering and urban management will be realized. This is a professional field which is critical in Fiji for it has an impact on urban growth as the country is now categorized as an urbanized economy,? Mr Saumatua said.

Mr Saumatua said engineering and town planning is a desperate need for Fiji at this particular time.

?The government of Fiji acknowledges the constraints it has in managing urban centres and subsequently, it is pursuing opportunities to build capacity, best practices and practices for adaptation in addressing urban issues in Fiji,? Mr Saumatua said.

?There are many other professional areas that contribute to managing the urban areas, playing an integral role in guiding towns, cities, the society and its people.?

The minister said international technical assistance and collaboration such as these, not only provide the platform for capacity building initiatives, but also allows an exchange of ideas and forms partnerships towards a course for the betterment of Fijians.

Mr Saumatua thanked the Indonesian Government for its many forms of assistance and support to Fiji through its embassy here.

?This is particularly in conjunction with the Ministry of Women in looking at areas of poverty that relates to the running of the township, housing and environment. For that we are very grateful,? minister Saumatua said.

?Republic of Indonesia is known for its assistance in the area of capacity building for the last 20 years. Our people have had the opportunity to learn practices in agriculture and skills in craftsmanship, which includes carving and furniture making. We have been taught how to use bamboo to produce furniture and we are now beginning to develop this skill.?

Head of delegation and the director general for Indonesia?s Spatial Planning and Development, Mr Basuki Hadimuljono said the collaboration between Fiji and Indonesia to enhance urban development locally would go a long way in improving the quality of the spatial planning.

?In this cooperation with the Republic of Fiji, we hope to strengthen the South- South Cooperation. Besides, we are also very eager to learn how you manage your coastal and rural areas,? Mr Hadimuljono said.

?I hope this collaboration will be beneficial for our society as a whole and increase the prosperity of our communities and secure our environment in a very sustainable way.?

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6.?NEW VEHICLES TO BOOST OPERATIONS

Government has today handed over six new fire trucks to the National Fire Authority (NFA ?in an effort to improve its services.

Minister for Local Government Mr Samuela Saumatua, during the handover said Government recognised how fires can hamper the confidence of investors and affect the stability of the nations economic growth.

?This new fleet will be effective to the fire services coupled with fully equipped and highly skilled and competent workforce that will provide the necessary assurance to our investors and the business communities,? Mr Saumatua said.

?We recognise that key enabling agent to realize this expectation is the need for capital improvements to infrastructure, vehicles and equipment.?

The long standing relationship between the National Fire Authority and Australia?s Country Fire Authority in Melbourne enabled the purchase of the new fleet.

Minister Saumatua said the cost of purchasing fire trucks would cost Government approximately $300,000 however through discussions and negotiations NFA purchased the trucks for $50,000.

The trucks include new features such as the Hino pumper fire, has two pumps and water tanks with the capacity of 1,400 litres and 200 litres foam tank including specialised fire fighting equipments.

Mr Saumatua is optimistic that this new addition will compliment the current fleet and enable further maintenance to older vehicles.

The vehicles will provide services in Suva, Valelevu, Nausori, Nadi, Savusavu and Labasa.

Meanwhile, ?the NFA board chairman and permanent secretary for Ministry of Transport Mr Frances Kean said the National Fire Authority will undergo rapid changes in strategizing policies in the next five years.

NFA chief executive John O?Connor has thanked Government for continuous assistance in improving its services to the community.

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7.?NORTHERN PRINCIPALS REMINDED TO BE EFFECTIVE AS LEADERS

School principals in the Northern Division have been encouraged to improve their performance in order to provide high quality education for all students.

Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr. Brij Lal during the opening of the Northern Principal?s Conference at the Labasa college this morning said school principals are responsible for encouraging performance of teachers.

?In the classroom, the teacher is the most visible person in a child?s life at school, but it is the principal who is responsible for providing a high quality education for all students there,? Dr Lal said.

Principals were urged to encourage teachers to improve their performance as all teachers are contracted and the renewal of teaching contracts solely depends on good performance, good conduct and good health.

Dr Lal cautioned principals and teachers to read all circulars sent by the Ministry of Education thoroughly to ensure that activities within the school comply with the regulations of the Ministry of Education and the Public Service Commission.

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