CAPTION: PS I-Taukei Affairs (front, middle) with scholarship recipients and Ministry officials.

For many, being offered a scholarship to pursue a tertiary education is a reminder of the hard work that students have to commit themselves towards to ensure that the objectives of that scholarship are met. It also demonstrates how hard students have had to struggle to even attain one.

For 18year old Filipe Waqabitu, it’s a combination of both.  Years of his hard work, dedication and commitment was this week recognised when Government through the i-Taukei Affairs ministry approved and offered him a scholarship to pursue a course in Civil Engineering in Malaysia.

The overseas scholarship was offered to Waqabitu and twenty seven other students who underwent an orientation program today at the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs. For him, this scholarship will give him an edge over others once he completes his studies.

Another recipient, Ms Kelera Yacalevu of Labasa, today expressed her gratitude to the government and the ministry for the offer to also undertake studies in Malaysia for BSc (Hon) in Information Technology (Network Computing).

“I am very happy that I was chosen and I will try my very best to achieve my certificate and upon my return, to contribute to the government and also be a role model for other students,” Ms Yacalevu said.

Government  this year awarded 28 new overseas scholarships which will now see 21 students study in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and in New Zealand.

Addressing the successful applicants at the orientation program was the Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Savenaca Kaunisela.

Mr Kaunisela said the orientation program was necessary to ensure that the Government’s investment through education is realized and put to good use.

“The scholarships will enable many to participate in all facets of development which will continue to build a well educated and better Fiji.

“The Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs is adamant to continue to provide scholarships to iTaukei students in this case our focus is for 2013,” Mr Kaunisela said.

The permanent secretary reiterated government’s objective in providing the opportunity to better education as reflected from base level of primary schools (free education, free text books, bus fares etc) to universities.

Mr Kaunisela highlighted that education is the KEY to wellbeing and that the onus is on students to succeed depending on their efforts and in the end will contribute to the economy.

“Fiji will be waiting for you to return and contribute positively to nation building,” Mr Kaunisela said.

Today’s orientation program was conducted to help the students familiarise themselves with the scholarship policies and the government’s expectations of them.

Meanwhile the head of government, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will tomorrow present airline tickets to retired teachers who have been selected to work in Nauru under the Fiji Volunteer Service Program.


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