1. FIJI RUGBY TEAMS PRESENTS ITATAU – “In today’s international sport, to play your best is not enough, you need to go one step higher.”
2. UNDER 13 GIRLS PRESENT ITATAU – The Fiji under 13 netball team today presented their traditional ‘itatau’ to his Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Government House.
3. MPS RECEIVE INDUCTION TRAINING – Members of Parliament must reach beyond the party divide to ensure that they work together for the benefit of all Fijians.
4. FOREIGN MINISTERS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA AND FIJI MEET IN NEW YORK – Fijian Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met at the United Nations Headquarters today with his Papua New Guinean counterpart, Mr Rimbink Pato.
5. SEYCHELLES-FIJI MINISTERIAL MEETING – The Foreign Ministers of Seychelles and Fiji held a bilateral meeting at the UN Headquarters today. At the meeting, Foreign Minister of Seychelles, Jean-Paul Adam congratulated Fiji on the successful conclusion of national democratic elections.
6. BE WARY OF DROUGHT SEASON: DR REDDY – The Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Dr Mahendra Reddy is calling on teachers and students to be wary of this drought season. The Minister is issuing this advice to all schools to take heed and take a proactive approach to the current drought situation.
7. PUBLIC INVITED TO MINISTRY OF DEFENCE DISPLAY – Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration will be displaying their services at the Government Service Centre this week.
8. LABASA COLLEGE FACELIFT –The girls hostel at Labasa College is undergoing renovations as part of the Ministry of Education’s programme to improve facilities in government schools.
9. BATIRILAGI RECEIVE NEW EQUIPMENT – Batirilagi District School recently received new equipment from the Ministry of Education to assist the school in recuperating after the losses incurred from a fire last week.
10. EDUCATION QUALITY AGENDA – The Teachers Confederation in the Northern Division convened at the Fiji Teachers Union Hall in Labasa recently to discuss the issue of quality education.
1. FIJI RUGBY TEAMS PRESENTS ITATAU
“In today’s international sport, to play your best is not enough, you need to go one step higher.”
Those were the comments made by His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau while receiving the traditional ‘itatau’ from the Vodafone Fiji Sevens team and the Telecom Fijiana national rugby team at Government House today.
The Fijian Sevens teams is ready for the 2014 Oceania Sevens Championship this weekend in Noosa, Australia before the Gold Coast Sevens.
On the other hand, the Telecom Fijiana national rugby team is getting ready for the 2014/15 women’s 7s Series as part of the Dubai 7s on December 4 and 5followed by Brazil (February 7-8, 2015), United States (March 14-15, 2015), Canada (April 18-19, 2015), England (May 15-16, 2015) and the Netherlands (May 22-23, 2015).
Ratu Epeli said both the teams had the best coaches to prepare them for these sporting events.
“You have the best coaches that a team can find. This is no easy task as you know no tournament is the same. I don’t have any doubt that you can do well. People of Fiji expect no less from you,” Ratu Epeli said.
“We will be watching you on television, remember every move you make will be watched by the people of Fiji.”
The Vodafone Sevens team is being coached by Ben Ryan while the Telecom Fijian team is coached by Iliesa Tanivula.
2. UNDER 13 GIRLS PRESENT ITATAU
The Fiji under 13 netball team today presented their traditional ‘itatau’ to his Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Government House.
The 30 member team and 10 officials will form three teams at the Pasifika Netball Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand on the October 11, 2014.
Ratu Epeli was honoured to receive the Under 13 girls, who are also known as ‘Lewa Sewa’.
“I am very honoured to receive you. Your international career starts today. That is a great undertaking. For a lot of you it is a surprising feature for you this year. It is the beginning of your career and I have no doubt you will be Fiji’s representatives in sports in the future,” Ratu Epeli said.
Ratu Epeli told the girls to enjoy themselves and to remember that the people of Fiji support them.
“You will go to a country that takes sports seriously. They want to see good performance and I hope you have that in mind. The people of Fiji are very supportive but very demanding. They expect you to win. They don’t expect anything else,” Ratu Epeli added.
Fiji Primary School Netball Association president, Susana Liga said the tour of New Zealand will be an eye opener for the young girls.
“We are touring New Zealand on the invitation of Fijians in Auckland and it will be the first overseas exposure for all the girls and they will be competing with teams from other Pacific islands,” Ms Liga said.
“The tournament will be held at the AMI Sports Centre in Auckland and the girls are very much looking forward to represent Fiji in it.”
Ms Liga said the young girls making up the team came from all over Fiji.
“Four are from Vanua Levu, one from Ovalau, two from Ra, 15 from the West and the rest are from Suva,” Ms Liga said.
3. MPS RECEIVE INDUCTION TRAINING
Members of Parliament must reach beyond the party divide to ensure that they work together for the benefit of all Fijians.
During the MP Induction Programme organised by the United Nations Development Programme and the Parliament Secretariat, UNDP resident representative Ms Osnat Lubrani said Parliament will be a central institution where people will expect their voices to be heard.
“There is hope that Parliament will be a place for robust but respectful debate and discussion, a Parliament where differing views can be voiced but also where consensus can be found.”
“Being an MP is an enormous privilege and a great responsibility,” Ms Lubrani reminded the elected MPs gathered in Suva this morning.
Secretary General to Parliament, Mrs Viniana Namosimalua told the elected MPs that the secretariat will provide them with all the right support to help them fulfil their role to move the country forward.
She said the induction programme was to guide the new members on what life as an MP will be like.
“It is a calling that demands nothing short of being open, transparent and accountable to everyone,” Mrs Namosimalua.
Three experts, who have worked in Australian and Canadian Parliamentary system, spoke to the elected MP’s on their rights and responsibilities, privileges, on the role of Government and Opposition.
The Standing Orders which will guide the conduct of MPs was also extensively discussed.
The half day programme ended with a tour of the Parliament complex.
4. FOREIGN MINISTERS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA AND FIJI MEET IN NEW YORK
Fijian Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met at the United Nations Headquarters today with his Papua New Guinean counterpart, Mr Rimbink Pato.
The Ministers reviewed regional issues and reaffirmed the importance of their two Governments working closely together to achieve regional progress.
Minister Pato congratulated Fiji on the successful conduct of the Fiji general elections and the appointment of the new government. Minister Kubuabola thanked Papua New Guinea for its assistance towards the holding of the elections.
Minister Pato indicated his intention to visit Fiji in November to further progress bilateral issues and Minister Kubuabola assured him of a warm reception.
5. SEYCHELLES-FIJI MINISTERIAL MEETING
The Foreign Ministers of Seychelles and Fiji held a bilateral meeting at the UN Headquarters today. At the meeting, Foreign Minister of Seychelles, Jean-Paul Adam congratulated Fiji on the successful conclusion of national democratic elections.
He also congratulated Fiji for successfully chairing the G77 last year during which the interests of Small island Development States were greatly advanced in the United Nations.
The Ministers discussed various bilateral and multilateral areas of cooperation. One area that both Ministers agreed to explore is the engagement of 44 Fijian teachers to work in Seychelles. Both countries will benefit from such an important initiative.
Minister Adam conveyed at the meeting that Seychelles intends to also cooperate closely with Fiji in the area of fisheries.
Fiji and Seychelles are both members of the Alliance of Small Island States, which comprises of 44 states and observers. The Ministers agreed to continue to work closely together to further strengthen the bilateral and multilateral relations between the two countries.
6. BE WARY OF DROUGHT SEASON: DR REDDY
The Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Dr Mahendra Reddy is calling on teachers and students to be wary of this drought season. The Minister is issuing this advice to all schools to take heed and take a proactive approach to the current drought situation.
“School heads should not permit students’ participation in sporting activities in the scorching sun. Students should also be advised to carry water bottles to schools and to continue drinking water to avoid dehydration,” Dr Reddy said.
“It is the joint responsibility of the teacher and the parents to give sound advice to children and have them informed of issues that can affect their learning. In school, learning is a priority and teachers should organise indoor activities that will ascertain the safety and wellbeing of students.
“It is rewarding to note that the attendance reports we’ve received from districts are positive and reveals minimal difference. There are island schools that have real problems but we are assisting them with the provision of water tanks and the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development has been aiding in the transportation of water to these needy schools.
“There has been some rain over the weekend and I hope that the schools have fetched water to sustain them for some time until assistance arrives to their schools. I am pleading with everyone to work in collaboration and assist one another in this critical time of the academic calendar. We need to ensure that students preparing for external and internal assessments are not severely affected in this drought,” Dr Reddy said.
The district education offices nationwide continue to monitor the situation and provide constant updates to the Ministry of Education with situational reports.
7. PUBLIC INVITED TO MINISTRY OF DEFENCE DISPLAY
Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration will be displaying their services at the Government Service Centre this week.
The ministry’s director for national security Viliame Wilikilagi said that the Ministry was focussing on the creating opportunities for the public to learn more about the services that they provide.
“We want to bring the services closer to the public especially in the areas of passport application and the issuance of permits for security companies,” Mr Wilikilagi said.
“We have the relevant agencies like the Fiji Police Force and the of Fiji Military Forces, this will be a good opportunity for youths to find out how they can seek employment in this area,” he said.
Mr Wilikilagi encouraged members of the public to visit the various booths and learn more on the different services provided by the ministry.
Tomu Kolitagane of Lautoka visited the booth this morning and was delighted with the services displayed at the centre.
“These types of services will be very helpful to the public especially when we apply for passport, I was able to get access to a form and apply for my passport instead of lining up at the main office,” Mr Kolitagane said.
Representatives from the Fiji Police Force, Department of Immigration and RFMF will also be part of the week-long exhibition.
Immigration officer Rasieli Bau encouraged the general public to visit the booths if they have questions on issuance and renewal of passports and applications on citizenship.
The exhibition which started on Monday opens from 8am to 4.30pm from today until Thursday, 8am to 4pm on Friday and 8am to 12pm on Saturday.
8. LABASA COLLEGE FACELIFT
The girls hostel at Labasa College is undergoing renovations as part of the Ministry of Education’s programme to improve facilities in government schools.
The Ministry has allocated $300,000 to improve the boarding facilities at Labasa College.
The Ministry of Works is now engaged in carrying out the necessary improvements at the three storey hostel to provide a more convenient and conducive environment for the boarding students.
Deputy secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, Saimoni Waibuta visited the school yesterday to oversee the progress of the project.
The project is expected to be completed in December and should be ready when the new academic year begins in 2015.
“The Ministry of Education is now embarking on the three pillars of the Post 2015 agenda of the Education For All goals focussing on quality tools, quality environment and quality teachers. This upgrade at the school will ensure that we provide an environment that is of high quality and responsive to students’ needs and aspirations. This is in line with the Post 2015 agenda of the ‘EFA’ goals that are being campaigned globally to demonstrate quality in education in a more realistic and comprehensive approach,” Mr Waibuta said.
Labasa College principal, Mr Vinod Naicker expressed his appreciation to the government for its timely assistance to the school.
He also emphasised that the current developments in the school will assist in grooming students to become responsible citizens of Fiji.
9. BATIRILAGI RECEIVE NEW EQUIPMENT
Batirilagi District School recently received new equipment from the Ministry of Education to assist the school in recuperating after the losses incurred from a fire last week.
Deputy secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, Saimoni Waibuta was at the school to handover the equipment to staff, school management and the community.
In addressing the staff and the community, Mr Waibuta acknowledged their efforts in improvising with the resources at hand to continue classes despite the setback faced.
“Ministry of Education will within its available resources see to the full recovery of the school. It is unfortunate that this has happened but we will try our very best to assist in every way possible to restore Batirilagi to its normal status,” Mr Waibuta said.
The deputy secretary also highlighted the current focus of the Ministry of Education towards the Post 2015 agenda on the Education for All (EFA) goals.
“I also wish to reiterate today that it is now compulsory for all school aged children to be in school. With free tuition fees and free transport assistance, we expect all school aged children in this country to be in school and utilise to their advantage the opportunities offered by Government.”
Batirilagi Primary School received a photocopier, a computer and books donated by some Western schools. The school is now using temporary classrooms for classes.
10. EDUCATION QUALITY AGENDA
The Teachers Confederation in the Northern Division convened at the Fiji Teachers Union Hall in Labasa recently to discuss the issue of quality education.
This is a global movement organised by the two teachers’ unions (Fiji Teachers Union and Fijian Teachers Association) on the Post 2015 agenda for the ‘Education for All’ (EFA) goals.
Deputy secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, Saimoni Waibuta was one of the guest speakers at the meeting to highlight the current status of the Ministry of Education pertaining to the achievement of the EFA goals.
Mr Waibuta said that EFA is a global initiative led by UNESCO aimed at meeting the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015 and this augurs well with Pillar 9 of the People’s Charter, which is to make Fiji a knowledge based society.
“With compulsory education made accessible to all school-aged children in Fiji, the Ministry of Education is on target to accomplish universal primary education and at the same time, ensuring that quality and inclusive education for all are achieved conclusively. From 2000 to 2013, gross enrolment rate for primary school students from Years 1 – 6 is above 100 per cent. I can proudly say that Fiji has successfully achieved EFA goal 2 – ‘the provision of free and compulsory education for all’,” Mr Waibuta said.
He reminded the teachers that quality education for students in Fiji can only be achieved through the combined and concerted efforts of Government, the Education Ministry, parents, school communities, school owners, teachers, the Fiji Teachers Union, the Fiji Teachers Association and other relevant stakeholders.