Fiji National University’s inaugural, four-day Engineering, Science and Technology Exhibition was launched this week by the Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Captain Timoci Natuva, at FNU’s Derrick Campus in Samabula.
The focus of the exhibition is to enhance awareness on science, engineering and technology.
“This inaugural exhibition is a timely event to offer many of our secondary school students and current workforce the opportunity to consider career options and enhancement of individual skills and professional aptitude in science and technology,” Captain Natuva said.
He said the exhibition was also an excellent enabler for the University and industry to consider working in tandem to ensure that they continue to produce and develop a professional and competent national workforce.
“I sincerely applaud the initiative behind this inaugural engineering, science and technology exhibition,” he said.
Cpt. Natuva said a major challenge for FNU and the industry was to ensure that students graduated with a high standard of practical skills.
“It would be interesting to note the outcomes of such a survey, if conducted. The results are critical data for opportunities to chart improvement in service delivery and most importantly, to ensure that the University meets the ever growing demands of industry.”
He said FNU has and will continue to play a pivotal role in the development of the country’s workforce, thus events such as the exhibition provided various sectors of the community with valuable insights into the deliverables at FNU.
“I have been informed that the displays on show today are the brainchild of the students here at the University. This portrays a sound level of innovation and competence on what can be achieved when students and staff work in tandem for progressive career development and nurturing of talent,” he said.
“In your brief history as a University in our national education system, FNU has evolved stupendously to ensure that our country’s workforce remains competent and industrious,” he added.
Cpt. Natuva encouraged FNU to ensure that the exhibition be initiated in other campuses around the country.
He urged parents and students to make sound use of the exhibition.
“Don’t be daunted by the technicalities of the science world, view it as a challenge because in a sailor’s world, there is a seaman’s adage: “If a man knows not what harbour he seeks, any wind is the right wind”.”
FNU Vice Chancellor, Dr Ganesh Chand said many people in Fiji have grown up in an environment where technology was feared.
He said engineering, science and technology is a critical foundation for FNU.
“It is our mandate to produce graduates who are well-versed with technology and that our society continues to prosper,” he said.
“Whether is it our roads, maritime or manufacturing – all are founded on engineering, science and technology.”
Dr Chand said it was not very encouraging to see the number of students entering the science stream in schools.
“We as a nation must emphasise science. It’s time now that all stakeholders put their minds and hands together,” he said.