Special school and youth club become first-time recipients of DEIA awards

Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou with other dignitaries, awardees, teachers, coaches and invited guests.Photo:SUPPLIED

“This is the first time a special school and a youth club are receiving the Duke of Edinburgh bronze medal in Fiji”.

Those were the words of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Honourable Laisenia Tuitubou, while officiating at the awards ceremony in Labasa, today.

The Minister commended the efforts of students of Labasa Special School and the members of Lekutulevu Youth Club for undertaking Duke of Edinburgh Awards program.

“The Ministry has been recognizing individuals for their commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh International Awards (DIEA), however this is the first of its kind where a special school and a youth club are getting awarded and both are from the Northern Division,” Minister Tuitubou said.

The Minister further stated that the Ministry, through the non-formal education program, is committed to enhance and further develop the youth of Fiji.

“My Ministry, through our non-formal education programs such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, is mandated to carry out empowerment training specifically to develop the young minds of our future leaders,” Minister Tuitubou said.

“The Award’s non-formal educational model provides an alternative way for young people in the rural and maritime areas who are not in the formal education system to gain a sense of self-esteem and achievement.”

Bulileka College school teacher, Mr. Ranjan Sharma, also the Award leader for Lekutulevu Youth club and Labasa Special School was extremely proud of the achievement.

“It’s an extremely proud moment for all of us and the people of North to be part of the Awards,” he said. “The students have been rewarded for their sacrifices and dedication and it is also very pleasing to see our special school students being recognised.”

“This truly depicts the value of inclusivity and further shows that these special school students receive equal assistance and I sincerely thank the Ministry for recognizing their efforts.”

He further stated that he wishes to pilot the Awards to other schools within Vanua Levu.

“I will continue to support the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ initiatives and will try my level best to assist in the piloting of the Awards program to other schools and youth clubs in Vanua Levu.”