The Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal recently toured the Marist Tutu Rural Training Centre in Tutu, Taveuni to look at the various educational opportunities offered.
During his tour, Dr Lal was briefed by the school principal father Michael McVerry on the training provided and pleased to see the progress and the work displayed by the current students at the institution.
“The institution provides alternatives for those that cannot make it into tertiary institutions where formal education is offered. It is indeed an enriching course as it creates the character from within that will last a lifetime. It is pleasing to note the many students that have graduated from this institution and are making a name for themselves in their villages and have been successful in their career,” Dr Lal said.
The Marist Tutu Rural Training Centre is a model of non formal education here in Fiji. The institution puts people at the centre of its programmes for young women, young farmers and married couples. The Tutu model combines the “formation/finding/development of the inner person”, understanding the social, cultural, religious, economic and power structures around the person and finding the most positive and realistic responses to them. Particular emphasis is placed on the participants determining what their needs are – whether felt or real and the cultural values and practices that hinder the progress in meeting those needs. The course objectives and course content are then established to empower the trainee to address the needs.
The Permanent Secretary acknowledged the effort put in by the Society of Mary of the Roman Catholic Church together with the people of Cakaudrove in their collaboration to provide this development opportunity.