- STAKEHOLDERS DISCUSS TECHNICAL EDUCATION, SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION– Technical vocational education and training (TVET) providers are taking part in a national stakeholder consultation on integrating sustainable energy and climate change considerations into the TVET training system.
- ITALY TO ASSIST EDUCATION AND RESEARCH– The Research Director of the Italian National Research Council, Dr Mazzola Salvatore today expressed to the Honourable Minister for Education, Dr Mahendra Reddy their support for activities of education and research towards excellence.
- MOROIVALU VISITS ISLANDS IN LOMAIVITI– Integrated approach has been a tool used by the Commissioner Eastern Division, Mr Luke Moroivalu in reaching out to rural and remote communities especially those in the rural and maritime areas.
- NASOLO TO OPEN NEW INFANT SCHOOL – The Ministry of Education has given the approval for the establishment of a kindergarten and an infant school in Nasolo, Bua.
- NADI RIVER STUDY – A Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) with stakeholders this week unanimously agreed that the River Improvement option be selected as the Priority Project for the Nadi river.
- MORE ITALIAN BEES TO BE BRED LOCALLY – More locally produced Italian variety of bees is being made available in the market thanks to a Gene Pool Improvement program by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).
- STAKEHOLDERS DISCUSS TECHNICAL EDUCATION, SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION
Technical vocational education and training (TVET) providers are taking part in a national stakeholder consultation on integrating sustainable energy and climate change considerations into the TVET training system.
While opening the three-day consultation at USP today, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy saif the consultation was about gathering specific inputs from stakeholders on the current status of TVET education and identifying priority needs on both sustainable energy and climate change adaptation.
Dr Reddy said European Union Pacific Technical and Vocational Education and Training (PacTVET) on Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Adaptation Project builds on the recognition that energy security and climate change are major issues hindering social, environmental and economic development of Pacific ACP countries.
“I do understand that one of the key barriers to improving the Pacific countries’ energy security status and resilience to climate change impacts is the lack of local and regional capacity and expertise which are the results of the absence of sustainable training programmes and the absence of trained personnel and well-resourced training institutions to deliver on the required training programmes,” Dr Reddy said.
He highlighted other challenges needed to be taken into consideration while undertaking deliberations in establishing TVET training such as the varying circumstances of Fiji and the Pacific island countries in terms of their access to electricity, renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities.
The consultation is done in partnership with the European Union, the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
SPC’s Dr Sarah Hemstock said government ministries such as the Ministry of Energy, Climate Change Unit, Foreign Affairs, Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) and the Education Ministry were part of the consultation to help them make decisions on how courses will be developed as part of the Pacific TVET project in Fiji.
“In terms of the 15 countries we are dealing with, we will be using them to incorporate any competences, courses and any qualifications within their frameworks. Then it will be easy for it to be accepted on a regional basis and also on a wider international basis,” Dr Hemstock said.
Dr Hemstock said people in Tuvalu, Kiribati and other smaller atoll nations are considering migration as an adaptation strategy to climate change.
“In order to allow people to migrate with dignity, they need to have qualifications so they can survive economically in another country and so the actual recognition of qualification is a very important issue. This is basically helping people to adapt to climate change and to deliver sustainable energy.”
She stressed that the project is aimed at improving people’s livelihood and a very effective way to do that is through education qualification.
“SPC is partnering with USP in implementing this project. They have a strong technical and training capacity and they have got a whole range of specialties from agriculture, land use, food security, energy, economic development and disaster risk reduction so they will bring their expertise to the table so we could develop qualifications and competencies based on expertise.
“USP will develop and implement courses and we will also work with the Fiji National University as they are going to be a key player in this project,” Dr Dr Hemstock said.
The PacTVET project is a 53-month project which started last year and the rest of the project will be programmed this October.
“Then we will be developing the courses and providing equipment to implement those courses across 15 countries. We are doing what is specifically needed in each country so it will be based nationally,” Dr Hemstock said.
The Project will be implemented in Fiji, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor- Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
- ITALY TO ASSIST EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
The Research Director of the Italian National Research Council, Dr Mazzola Salvatore today expressed to the Honourable Minister for Education, Dr Mahendra Reddy their support for activities of education and research towards excellence.
Dr Mazzola also stated that the Italian National Research Council with the support of the European Research Council is able to provide sponsorship to the nascent Fiji Research Council in terms of technical support and funding.
The Ministry of Education is also in the process of establishing a National Research Council to co-ordinate all researches undertaken locally and internationally on issues of national concern.
Dr Mazzola and the Head of School of Engineering and Physics of the South Pacific, Professor Maurizio Cirrincione also paid a courtesy visit to the Minister for Education today to present the MOU recently signed by the University of the South Pacific, the Italian National Research Council(CNR) and the Milan University la Bicocca.
“The government will support activities of research, education and development involving USP, FNU and University of Fiji with the Italian National Research Council. In this framework a research proposal will be within the development cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the countries of the African,Carribean and Pacific Group of States(ACP),” Minister Reddy said.
“This is also the beginning of the formal steps towards establishing a bilateral agreement between Italy and Fiji about Research and Education, for the exchange of researchers and university students between the two countries.”
- MOROIVALU VISITS ISLANDS IN LOMAIVITI
Integrated approach has been a tool used by the Commissioner Eastern Division, Mr Luke Moroivalu in reaching out to rural and remote communities especially those in the rural and maritime areas.
Mr Moroivalu made this statement while recently touring islands in the Lomaiviti group.
He said that the visit was an opportunity for his staff to inform the people on the intentions of Government and also to familiarise himself on the area of operation in Lomaiviti.
“This is a chance for me to meet the people and know the challenges and development needs of the people,” Mr Moroivalu said.
“People living in rural and remote communities especially in the rural maritime tend to be forgotten in terms of information, services and development.”
In Gau, the construction of the Qarani jetty is progressing well. Mr Moroivalu said that the Qarani jetty sets the platform for other development and services to reach the islands. It opens doors for supermarkets, tourism development and also construction of roads around the island and many more.
Accompanied by the heads of department in the Division, Mr Moroivalu’s entourage has visited Gau and will be visiting Batiki and Nairai before returning to Suva on Friday.
- NASOLO TO OPEN NEW INFANT SCHOOL
The Ministry of Education has given the approval for the establishment of a kindergarten and an infant school in Nasolo, Bua.
The approval follows a request by national rugby player Seru Rabeni and the Sunshine House International Pre Schools from Hong Kong to construct a school in Nasolo.
The Minister for Education, Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy in granting the approval said that his Ministry was grateful to Mr Rabeni and the Sunshine House International Pre Schools for their kind gesture.
“This is in line with the government vision of building a knowledge based society and extending educational services to rural and remote areas,” Minister Reddy said.
“This will ensure that students spend quality time with their parents. Being a boarder at an early age is a daunting task for this young children and this opportunity will strengthen the bond between the children and their parents at this very critical development stage.”
Sunshine House International Pre-school is a group of English speaking international schools, established for over 25 years; it aims to provide a holistic approach to children’s learning and development. The school curriculum follows the United Kingdom’s Early Years Foundation.
The Sunshine House Group School Director, Mr. Joshua Cole said that this project will assist in building a wonderful and nurturing school environment to meet every specific community, the families and children of the village of Nasolo.
The Ministry of Education will provide the teachers and curriculum to the school while the Sunshine House International will provide the complete infrastructure. Currently, the students of Nasolo are using the school hall for kindergarten and the closest school is over one hour away by foot.
- NADI RIVER STUDY
A Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) with stakeholders this week unanimously agreed that the River Improvement option be selected as the Priority Project for the Nadi river.
Director Land Water Resource Management (LWRM) Colin Simmons said that the JCC Committee considered and agreed that the social and environmental impact will be less if the option of the River Improvement is chosen over the River Diversion option.
The selection of the Priority Project is necessary for the JICA Team to proceed onto the Feasibility Study Phase of the Project.
A public consultation will be held this Thursday in Nadi to inform the general public of the decision made by the Joint Steering Committee on the selection of the priority project and to obtain their views, issues and comments.
Mr Simmons added that the selection of the Priority Project will then go through a screening process in Japan.
- MORE ITALIAN BEES TO BE BRED LOCALLY
More locally produced Italian variety of bees is being made available in the market thanks to a Gene Pool Improvement program by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).
Agricultural Technical Officer (Bees) Asween Kumar said the demand for locally produced Italian bees is always high.
He said farmers usually opt to import these Italian bees when it is not available at the research stations but importation comes in with high risks.
“When live bees are imported, there are high chances of pests and diseases coming with it into the country which may have a great impact on our bee industry.”
Under the Gene Pool Improvement program, about $15,000 is being utilised to produce more Italian Bees for local farmers.
Mr Kumar said that 120 complete sets of single bee hive boxes will be installed at the Batiri Research Station in Vanua Levu under this program and 30 at the Dobuilevu Research Station in Ra.
“Another 70 nucleus boxes will also be installed to assist in this program. Therefore the total breeding stock at Batiri Research Station will be around 220 to 250 colonies and 60 to 80 colonies at Dobuilevu Research Station,” he said.
This he says will greatly assist in stock build up and setting up of hives for the newly produced queen bees.
He said once in full operation, the station will be able to produce and supply 40 – 50 queen bees every week to the interested farmers.
“Our aim is to supply best quality queen bees at a lower cost to the interested farmers who want to improve their gene pool.
“Farmers can buy the Italian Queen Bees at $15 per queen and the commercial farmers will be entitled to buy five Queen Bees, Semi Commercial farmers three while Subsistence farmers will be entitled to buy 2 Queen Bees.
“We are recommending bee farmers to buy the Italian queen bees to improve the breed of bees for better yield.
“Italian bees produce more honey compared to the cross of Italian and European black bees that most of the farmers in Fiji currently have in their hives,” he said.
Batiri Bee Research Station is currently involved in the production of queen bees and a small amount of nucleus.
Meanwhile there are 1,548 bee farmers in Fiji with 14,276 hives from which 516 farmers are from the Western Division with 7521 hives while 742 farmers are from the Northern Division with 3961 hives. The rest are from the Central and Eastern Divisions.
The Ministry of Agriculture provides technical advice to the farmers on bee keeping and also provides farmer trainings.