Caption: Commonwealth Education Ministers at the opening of the 20th Conference held at Sheraton Hotel,Denarau in Nadi. Photo: DEPTFO.
By LITIA TIKOMAILEPANONI
Nothing is more important to any nation than to equip its young people for satisfying, worthwhile lives by giving them access to quality education.
This was the sentiment shared by Prime Minister of Fiji Josaia Bainimarama during the opening of the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education in Sheraton Hotel, Denarau in Nadi yesterday.
This is also the first for Fiji to host the first gathering of Commonwealth education ministers.
“We all know that education is the key to sustainable development because it equips people with the skills they need to benefit their own lives and the lives of those around them,” he said.
He added that the Ministry of Education was being streamlined to be more responsive.
“And we are working with our teachers to increase their skills base and financially reward our best performers. “But for all the challenges, I believe our education revolution is the biggest single thing we have done as a government and as a nation to benefit our people.”
He reiterated the importance of including sustainability at the core of Government decisions.
“Governments at every level must also place sustainability at the core of their decision-making.
- Sustainable development that protects our natural heritage and treads lightly on the environment.
-Sustainable policies that work holistically and which have longevity to extend the benefits of development to as many of our citizens as possible.
– Sustainable spending that doesn’t cripple nations, states and cities with excessive debt.
– And sustainable economies that balance the needs of government and the private sector, with both working hand in hand to ensure continuing sustainable development.
“In that, no sustainable development at all will be possible without decisive action on climate change and decisive action to reverse the degradation of our oceans.”
The delegates were also ask to have a moment of silence to commemorate the second anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Winston, which slammed into our nation with terrible force on 20 February 2016. Winston was the biggest storm ever to make landfall in the southern hemisphere, packing record winds at its peak of more than 300 kilometres an hour.
Altogether representatives from 53 nations that make up the Commonwealth family converged at the Conference.