- STUDENTS AND PARENTS ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE AT THANKSGIVING SERVICE – THE Ministry of Education is encouraging parents and students to join the National Thanksgiving Service being held to mark the release of the 45 Fijians peacekeepers in the Golan region.
- PUBLIC SERVICES TO OPERATE NORMALLY – The Fijian Public Service will provide normal services as Fiji heads to General Election this week.
- NEW COURT COMPLEX TO STRENGTHEN WESTERN JUDICIAL SERVICES – The construction of the new courthouse complex in Lautoka City will strengthen the services of Fiji’s judicial sector in the Western Division.
- WOMENS EXPO A SUCCESS: MINISTER LUVENI – An overview of the First National Women’s Expo, which displayed the handiwork of rural and marginalised women, was presented today.
- AIRPORT RENOVATIONS MAJOR BOOST TO FIJI’S TOURISM INDUSTRY – Renovation works at the Nadi International Airport augurs well with the aspirations of Fiji’s tourism industry to market Fiji as one of the most vibrant destinations in the world.
- EDUCATION MINISTRY TO IMPLEMENT DIGITAL LITERACY IN SCHOOLS – The Ministry of Education has joined hands with a non-profit organisation, Reach 4 Your Future Foundation, to implement digital literacy in selected schools in Fiji.
1 STUDENTS AND PARENTS ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE AT THANKSGIVING SERVICE
THE Ministry of Education is encouraging parents and students to join the National Thanksgiving Service being held to mark the release of the 45 Fijians peacekeepers in the Golan region.
The Ministry’s acting permanent secretary, Mrs Basundra Kumar made this call on the eve of the service that will be held at the ANZNational Stadium at 4.30pm tomorrow.
Secondary schools and six primary schools from the Central division have so far confirmed their participation attomorrow’s event
“It is very significant day for us because we teach our children values in schools, humanitarian values, values of respect and faith.”
“If there is success, if our men have been released unharmed, I think it is very important to get together and thank god for the timely intervention to assist not just the soldiers but our nation as a whole,” she said.
Mrs Kumar said as a nation “we can only enhance and instil these values in our children if we start to practice it and by encouraging student participation.”
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Cabinet Ministers, the Diplomatic Corps and heads of religious organisations in Fiji, will attend the service.
Members of the public are also invited to attend the multi-religious service.
2 PUBLIC SERVICES TO OPERATE NORMALLY
The Fijian Public Service will provide normal services as Fiji heads to General Election this week.
Mr Parmesh Chand, Permanent Secretary for the Public Service, said that while 17th September, 2014 would be a public holiday, those in the area of essential services would continue to be at work as they would have already voted.
He added that all public servants are expected to be back at work on Thursday, 18th September, with normal resumption of all Government services.
All those public servants not engaged in essential services and registered to vote are encouraged to cast their votes at their respective polling stations throughout the country.
3 NEW COURT COMPLEX TO STRENGTHEN WESTERN JUDICIAL SERVICES
The construction of the new courthouse complex in Lautoka City will strengthen the services of Fiji’s judicial sector in the Western Division.
This was recently highlighted by the Hon Chief Justice Anthony Gates as he officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the six storey complex that will house 18 court rooms and other facilities including an archives, court registry, remand cells, a media room, a sick bay, a crèche,under-cover parking, a Legal Practitioners Common Room, interview Rooms, standby generator, water storage tanks, solar water heating, audio and video recording in all courtrooms, lifts to all floors, a Juvenile Court, a Tax Court, Family Courts, Employment Relations Court and various registries, chambers, and secretaries rooms.
Justice Gates pointed out that the construction of this courthouse complex would finally bring to end years of struggle for court officials who have often faced challenges because of the challenges of their working space.
“The users of the existing High Court Building at Lautoka have known for many years of its inadequacy for the amount of business to be undertaken at that premises. It is a massive project for Fiji and is likely to cost around F$35 million. So far it is destined to be an infrastructure improvement to be borne by Government alone,” Hon Gates said.
“If the Western Division is to develop economically, financially and in its institutions and services, the justice system within the division must be able to respond to society’s needs. There must be Judges and Magistrates, court staff, court facilities and modern equipment for dealing with litigants’ disputes.”
The new complex once completed will have a provision of 18 court rooms and other facilities such as adequate provisions for filing,records, and archives, separated cells for men, women and juveniles, cafeteria with kitchens, a gymnasium, a media room, a sick bay, a crèche, under-cover parking, a Legal Practitioners Common Room, interview Rooms, standby generator, water storage tanks, solar water heating, audio and video recording in all courtrooms, lifts to all floors, a Juvenile Court, a Tax Court, Family Courts, Employment Relations Court and various registries, chambers, and secretaries rooms.
Lautoka City Council Chief executive officer Jone Nakauvadra says, the council was fully supportive of the idea and the renovation works have been long overdue but thanked Government of its vision to strengthen s1ervice delivery mechanisms such as the judicial services around the country.
“The High Court in Lautoka deals with cases from the whole division and it is only fitting that more resources and refurbishment is done to be able to cater for the whole division,” he said.
“There have been a lot of major developments in the western division in the last few years and in Lautoka itself and the new look courts in Lautoka will add to the other projects that are currently underway in the sugar city.”
He added that the development work at the High court would add to the growth of Lautoka and at the same time supplement the infrastructure to ensure that judicial cases are efficient.
Acting Commissioner Western Luke Moroivalu also echoed similar sentiments saying that the projects augurs well with Government’s vision of ensuring better facilities and services to the people which is also stipulated in the Constitution.
“This project is very critical to the services provided by the judicial department especially with the recent economic growth level recorded in the west and projects such as these prove government’s vision towards its people,” Mr Moroivalu said.
4 WOMENS EXPO A SUCCESS: MINISTER LUVENI
An overview of the First National Women’s Expo, which displayed the handiwork of rural and marginalised women, was presented today.
A total of 462 women’s group from all four divisions and 1938 participants networked to connect them to potential markets during the three-day expo last month.
The Marama ni Yavusa training had 50 women participants and 182 participants contributed towards the Women and Children’s Summit.
The Minister of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni acknowledged stakeholders contribution to make sure the expo was a success.
“The many number of participants attributed to the early preparations, particularly the divisional staff who were in contact with the women’s groups around Fiji,” Dr Luveni said.
“Establishing a network ensures a wide participation from the various groups because when women are economically empowered, their families benefit immediately.”
The ministry spent $25,085.08 on Marama ni Yavusa program, $92,168.75 on Women and Children’s Summit and $421,738.54 on the Women’s Expo.
“Total sales recorded by the 462 women’s group was $133,152 with $34,091 from the Western Division, $39,795 from the Northern Division, $13,137 from the Central Division and $46,129 from the Eastern Division,” Dr Luveni said.
The income earned enabled three women from the maritime division of Lau to buy building materials for their homes.
Minister Luveni said the ministry would make the expo an annual event with the number of requests and support that was shown by groups and participants.
5 AIRPORT RENOVATIONS MAJOR BOOST TO FIJI’S TOURISM INDUSTRY
Renovation works at the Nadi International Airport augurs well with the aspirations of Fiji’s tourism industry to market Fiji as one of the most vibrant destinations in the world.
Tourism Fiji board chairman Stefan Pichler says the move is in line with Government’s vision of providing quality infrastructure for visitors to the country.
Pichler who is also the Fiji Airways managing director and CEO, Pichler says the redesign and modernisation of the Nadi International Airport into a world-class port would further enhance Fiji’s image to visitors arriving at our shores and the new look airport would boost Fiji’s image among tourists.
“The terminal is designed to enable improved passenger convenience with extra check-in counters, quick turnaround of aircraft, and other amenities,” he said.
“We are appreciative of AFL’s plans to create a world-class international airport, and are happy to move Fiji Link’s operations into a new space. We’re confident that the move is practical and convenient for both our customers and staff members.”
With works on schedule, Airports Fiji Limited executive chairman Faiz Khan they were looking forward to seeing the new look airport which would begin taking shape in the next few months.
“We are all excited for this project and all Fijians should be as it will be a landmark for all to be proud of. The designs are unique to Fiji and everyone will be able to connect to this very important piece of marvel.”
Pichler says Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji welcomed the change as it would allow for exceptional customer service as following the providence of a dedicated space that’s allocated for Fiji Airways customers only.
“We’ve had exciting progresses this year with Fiji Link and as we continue to expand our fleet with our new ATR 42-600 arriving last week, destination network and customer base, we believe the move to the new terminal will fit in well with our own growth plans.”
The $75million Project is expected to be completed by early next year.
6 EDUCATION MINISTRY TO IMPLEMENT DIGITAL LITERACY IN SCHOOLS
The Ministry of Education has joined hands with a non-profit organisation, Reach 4 Your Future Foundation, to implement digital literacy in selected schools in Fiji.
Speaking at a press conference on digital literacy this morning, the Ministry’s acting permanent secretary, Basundra Kumar said they are in the process of studying the proposal provided by Reach 4 Your Future Foundation outlining the benefits of the programme.
Mrs Kumar said digital literacy, a first for Fiji, looked very promising because it had an online Microsoft curriculum to enhance individual learning by the Fijian students.
Digital literacy, as an educational curriculum in most developing and developed countries, related to technology based skill requirements and the initiative will increase students’ proficiencies and marketable skills as they enter the workforce.
“It is a Microsoft accredited and certified course so it is an opportunity that awaits for our Fijian students to fill in the skills gap. The online courses will be from basic to advance to expert levels and this will allow for added qualifications for our children when they leave school,” Mrs Kumar said.
“This programme is coming free to our schools and this will enable students to benefit and compete with other students of the world through exposure to the latest technology.”
The programme will soon be piloted at Natabua High School while Lautoka Andhra Sangam is already running an ICT centre, however without the Microsoft Academy programme.
Reach 4 Your Future Foundation president, Ganesh Sen said 50 per cent of the programme was complete at Natabua High School, where they were looking at setting up 120 IT terminals.
“How we introduce digital literacy into primary schools is very important because this will become the basis of what our children will become in the future and how they utilise this technology is vital. This has many benefits and that includes motivating students in their learning due to their enjoyment, an ease of use of various technological mediums and it reaches students with various learning styles,” Mr Sen said.
“Students must also get the content that they are able to understand because everybody has difference interpretation. This programme will enable students to easily share the learning with teachers, families and peers and this gives the students to explore technological mediums, which is inevitable.”
Reach 4 Your Future Foundation will undertake the maintenance of the digital literacy centres on an ongoing basis at no cost to the Education Ministry.
The ministry and the organisation will soon be entering into a memorandum of understanding to finalise the roll-out of the digital literacy programmes in selected schools.