DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 06/06/15 5:30PM

 

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  1. WESTERN SCHOOL HEADS REMINDED OF ROLE IN EDUCATION DEVELOPMENTSchool heads of departments are now held accountable for students? performance and are one of the most important cogs in the school machine.

 

  1. MINISTER THANKS VISITING HEART SURGEONS FOR CHANGING THE LIVES OF FIJIAN FAMILIES– The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar has commended the work carried out by visiting heart surgeons and medical personnel.

 

  1. MINISTER AKBAR LEADS A DELEGATION TO INDONESIA – The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Hon. Rosy Akbar is leading a delegation to Jakarta, Indonesia next week to convene a Joint Technical Working Group with Indonesian counterparts.

 

  1. MINISTRY INTENSIFIES EFFORTS TO ADDRESS MENTALLY CHALLENGED ON THE STREETS– A Coordinated Committee on Street Beggars led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and the Fiji Police Force has intensified its efforts to assist the mentally challenged found on streets across the country.

 

 

 

  1. WESTERN SCHOOL HEADS REMINDED OF ROLE IN EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT?

 

School heads of departments are now held accountable for students? performance and are one of the most important cogs in the school machine.

 

This was highlighted by the Minister of Education, Dr Mahendra Reddy while closing the secondary schools Heads of Departments workshop for Nadroga and Navosa in Sigatoka today.

 

?Schools that have been the most successful in improving student achievement have visionary leaders who develop and implement plans that focus on student learning,? Dr Reddy said.

 

?I am sure that with strong leadership, even the most troubled schools can be reformed.?

 

Dr Reddy added that it is just as important for Heads of Departments to know that in any organization, the role of the leaders keeps changing.

 

?Students are now different. They are not the students that we were. They are more vocal, they are more technologically advanced,? Dr Reddy said.

 

?Their exposure to other outside influences can make the reality of being a HOD more daunting.

 

?It is within this very challenging environment that you are expected to function.?

Education Officer for Nadroga and Navosa, Vishnu Sharma said that the HOD workshop is a follow up of a workshop for head teachers that was held last month.

 

?This one day workshop is organized by the Principals Association and today we have here 13 secondary schools heads of departments,? Mr Sharma said.

 

?We want all teachers in Nadroga and Navosa to be on par with the education reforms that is being carried out by government.?

 

Issues discussed at the workshop included conduct of teachers, examination, expectations of HODs and curriculum changes.

 

-ENDS-

 

  1. MINISTER THANKS VISITING HEART SURGEONS FOR CHANGING THE LIVES OF FIJIAN FAMILIES

 

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar has commended the work carried out by visiting heart surgeons and medical personnel.

 

At a dinner this week, the Minister hosted 52 Australian heart surgeons and medical volunteers from the Open Heart International. The visiting medical team had been conducting open-heart surgeries at the CWM Hospital.

 

At the dinner, Minister Akbar thanked the entire team for their commitment to assist Fijian families especially young children who suffer from heart complications.

 

?It was a great opportunity for me to have the firsthand experience of your expertise and indeed an honor that you have offered your service to our country.? The Ministry has continued to support the Walk for Life initiative and it is through Mr?Michael Fong,?that we were able to raise awareness on the Congenital Heart Disease.

 

?Your contributions have given new lease of life to 24 children and their families. I have witnessed the smiles on the faces of the children and even the tears of joy of their parents. We sincerely thank you for your dedication to save the lives of those children. This partnership will continue as there is still a lot that can be done in terms of financial and counselling support services to effectively address Congenital Heart Disease.?

 

Open Heart International project coordinator, Dr Melanie Windus said it was a great privilege for the team to use their skills and save innocent lives.

 

?The amazing thing about this group of volunteers is that some of us have never met each other before and we came together for one common goal and that was to really help the people of Fiji, particularly those children. Since last few days, the two teams have operated on 36 children and adults – 24 of these were children.

 

?It was about making a difference in the lives of these families. We are already planning on coming next year as well and we look forward for this continued support from the Ministry of Children in assisting the families in Fiji,? Ms Windus said.

 

In March this year, the Ministry donated $5000 to support the, ?Walk for Life? initiative that was established by Mr?Michael Fong after his son died of?Congenital Heart Disease a few years ago.

 

?As a way forward we are putting together a database so that we can monitor and further assist the families of these children who have undergone the operation. The cardiac team consists of professional doctors from Australia and they have done an excellent job. I would also like to thank Minister Akbar for her continued support towards Walk for Life, for without her support we wouldn?t have come this far,? Mr Fong said.

 

The dinner was organised by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and saw the exchange of ideas between Australian medical team, Children?s Heart Foundation and the Ministry officials.

 

-ENDS-

 

  1. MINISTER AKBAR LEADS A DELEGATION TO INDONESIA

 

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Hon. Rosy Akbar is leading a delegation to Jakarta, Indonesia next week to convene a Joint Technical Working Group with Indonesian counterparts.

 

Minister Akbar is accompanied by senior officials of the Ministry, Director Women, Mrs Arieta Moceica and Director Social Welfare Mr Rupeni Fatiaki. The duration of the official tour is from Monday 8th?to Saturday 13th?June 2015.

 

The Joint Taskforce will devise new strategies to strengthen the Fiji-Indonesia bilateral ties in terms of women, children empowerment and poverty alleviation. The Fiji delegation will also have the opportunity to visit some of the significant socioeconomic project sites in Indonesia.

 

Minister Akbar?s visits in Indonesia will include:?Centre for Women SME?s (Small-Medium Enterprises), Income Generating Project sites, Rehabilitation Centre for Persons living with Disabilities, Social Rehabilitation Centre for Teenagers, Safe House for Children, Women?s Seaweed Processing Centre, Ciputra Entrepreneurship Centre and Agriculture Processing, Training Institute for Value Adding of Agricultural Products.

 

The Wednesday, 18th?of December, 2013 a new era was written into Fiji?s relations with Indonesia when the women ministers? of the two countries had officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize Fiji-Indonesia collaboration in the areas of women empowerment, gender equality and child protection. The MOU called for strengthened partnership between the two countries to share information and resources for increased development opportunities.

 

Fiji is among?21 international countries that has declared its commitment to the?Equal Futures Partnership, a movement found in 2012 that aims to accelerate global and national efforts to increase women?s access and participation in politics, decision-making and economic empowerment.

 

-ENDS-

 

  1. MINISTRY INTENSIFIES EFFORTS TO ADDRESS MENTALLY CHALLENGED ON THE STREETS

 

A Coordinated Committee on Street Beggars led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and the Fiji Police Force has intensified its efforts to assist the mentally challenged found on streets across the country.

To date, the Ministry has profiled a total of 78 streets beggars from Suva, Nausori, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi and Labasa.

 

The chair of this Committee, Minister Hon. Rosy Akbar says that so far 8 mentally challenged individuals who were found on the streets had been referred to Saint Giles Hospital ?for treatment.

 

?The Ministry ensures that the mentally challenged are provided with medical treatment. I am glad to say that two of the women street dwellers who had been treated at St Giles have been reunited with their families. We continue to emphasize on the need for families to take a caring and compassionate approach when dealing with mentally challenged, disabled persons and senior citizens,? Minister Akbar emphasized.

 

She said that whilst trying to address the issue, there are few challenges encountered by the Ministry.

 

?The key challenge, we faced when we started the operation late last year was the resistance from some of those who have been begging on the streets for quite some time. These are generational beggars who have been on streets for over 20 years. Through consistent mentoring and counselling, the Ministry has been able to get some of them into skills training and income generating programs.

 

?We have equipped them with skills and tools which has motivated them to work towards becoming self-reliant and live a dignified life. The Ministry works together with Fiji Police to monitor their progress,? Minister Akbar explained.

 

To date the Ministry has also assisted 8 individuals through sustainable livelihood programs. These are men and women who previously begged on the streets, their lives have been transformed and they now earn their living through small businesses like vegetable selling, canteen and catering to name a few.

 

Similarly, some have also acquired full time employment through the skills training opportunities provided at the Rehabilitation Centre for Beggars known as??Good?Samaritan Inn??at Colo-i-Suva.

 

?The Centre is doing well and I am informed that two of the trainees are now employed at Crest Chicken factory. Our deepest gratitude and acknowledgement goes to this company for creating employment opportunity to those two men.

 

?The agricultural and vocational training program is also progressing well and it will provide the way forward for seven other trainees at the Centre to earn a living without having to beg on the streets,? Minister Akbar added.

 

The ?Good?Samaritan Inn? was opened in February this year through the funding of $100,000 from the Fijian Government. The Centre aims to provide training and employment opportunities for men who had been begging on the streets. It is equipped with accommodation and training facilities and is administered by Nazarene Church of Fiji.

Press Release

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