1. FOUR INSTITUTIONS FIRST ON FIJI FRAMEWORK – Four higher education institutions in the country are the first to have their own developed qualifications accredited on the Fiji Qualifications Framework[FQF].
2. FARMING HOUSEHOLD SURVEY LAUNCHED – The Ministry of Agriculture acting permanent secretary Uraia Waibuta this week launched the Farming Household Survey at the Korovou Agriculture Station demonstrating the importance of data management.
3. NEW SHIPPING FRANCHISE FOR THE LAU GROUP – Government has made a critical commitment to improve shipping services to our maritime islands and invest more in our maritime region.
4. SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS MANUAL LAUNCHED – The Minister for Health & Medical Services Hon. Jone Usamate launched a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Manual yesterday, during the 11th Pacific Health Ministers Meeting.
5. FIJIAN GOVERNMENT COMMENDS GREEN CLIMATE FUND INITIATIVES – The Fijian Government has commended the Green Climate Fund for the initiatives it has in store for the Pacific region in relation to combating the impacts of climate change.
6. BEEKEEPING WORKSHOP IN LAKENA – A two days Module 1 workshop on Bee Keeping was held on the 15th-16th April, 2015 at the Lakena Agriculture Station Conference Room.
7. Ministry committed to inclusive youth development – Suva, April 17 – Representatives of the national executive committee of the Fiji Muslim Youth Movement were informed of government’s commitment towards the inclusive development of young Fijians.
1. FOUR INSTITUTIONS FIRST ON FIJI FRAMEWORK
Four higher education institutions in the country are the first to have their own developed qualifications accredited on the Fiji Qualifications Framework[FQF].
The approval for accreditation was issued by the Fiji Higher Education Commission on the advice of the Fiji Qualifications Council.
These include 7 programmes from Fulton A University College, 2 from the College of Theology and Evangelism, 2 from the South Pacific Academy of Beauty Therapy and 3 from Vivekananda Technical College.
Being accredited on the Fiji Qualifications Framework, means that these qualifications are recognised by the Pacific Register for Qualifications and Standards [PRQS]. The Pacific Register of Qualifications and Standards (PRQS) is a regional database of all quality assured qualifications and standards offered in each Pacific Island country.
“We salute these four institutions for being the first to have their provider qualifications accredited on the FQF and other higher education institutions are urged to do likewise,” commented FHEC Executive Chairman, Dr Richard Wah.
“When programmes are given such recognition, the institutions will in turn earn that respect and trust,” added Dr Wah.
He explained that one of the FHEC ‘s major focus is on Quality Assurance of Institutions and the Programmes they offer.
2. FARMING HOUSEHOLD SURVEY LAUNCHED
The Ministry of Agriculture acting permanent secretary Uraia Waibuta this week launched the Farming Household Survey at the Korovou Agriculture Station demonstrating the importance of data management.
“Data collection and management is an essential area of responsibility for Agricultural Development. Before any new project, programme or any initiative, the Ministry should at first address the issues related to data management,” he said.
Mr Waibuta said by creating a plan for managing data at the beginning of any work will definitely save time and efforts later adding that data produced will be preserved in a clear and usable format.
“In managing data, officers should be able to produce realistic and achievable outputs, meet the funding agency requirements and increase efficiency in the Ministry’s service delivery.
“In line with that, the officers should minimize data loss and enhance data security and as well prevent duplication and most importantly produce realistic reports.
“Gathering of technical data is important and expensive output for the Ministry with that it has a proposed budget of $350,000 and is expected to achieve the desired outcome,” he added.
Data, he said, is an essential part of the evidence necessary to evaluate the results of what the Ministry is doing and therefore it requires to get things right from the start.
“The last Agriculture Census was done in 2009 and the frequent changes in Agricultural activities, socio demographic and farming population data and the unavailability of data with us, has forced the Ministry to carry out the project,” Mr Waibuta said.
He said that the Ministry has realised the urgency in updating its statistics database and this has led to strengthening the Statistics Division, the Training of technical staff and the carrying out of the survey exercise as well.
3. NEW SHIPPING FRANCHISE FOR THE LAU GROUP
Government has made a critical commitment to improve shipping services to our maritime islands and invest more in our maritime region.
This was highlighted by the Divisional Commissioner Eastern Luke Moroivalu as he responded to concerns raised by villagers of Lomaloma in Vanua Balavu of the inconsistent shipping services.
During informal talks with the villagers, Mr Moroivalu clarified that the delay in shipping services to the island was because the shipping franchise tender had expired with the current provider.
“We have confirmation from the Permanent Secretary for Works Mr Frances Kean that the tender has been given to Gounder shipping services and Sea Rakino,” Mr Moroivalu said.
“Government has provided an increased allocation of $2.4million for the shipping franchise scheme. The increase will cater for increased frequency of services to remote and uneconomical shipping routes subsidized by Government,” he said.
72 year old Pajiliai Veilomani of Susui village thanked government for their prompt response in assigning a ship to bring supplies to the island.
“We had to wait for over a month then we got to have normal supplies that is sold at Vanua Balavu,” Mr Veilomani said.
Merewalesi Kaciala of Daliconi village thanked government for their commitment in providing better services to people living in remote rural islands.
“We hope that the new shipping franchise will be consistent because most of us rely on the goods that are being sold in the shops,” she said.
4. SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS MANUAL LAUNCHED
The Minister for Health & Medical Services Hon. Jone Usamate launched a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Manual yesterday, during the 11th Pacific Health Ministers Meeting.
“This manual is the first for the pacific. The first step in prioritising Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is to address the shortage of practical information on SRHR that is tailored to the unique needs and challenges of the region”, Mr Usamate said.
Titled the Awareness, Analysis and Action: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Pacific”, the manual has practical, evidence-based tools and information to help practitioners, advocates, policymakers, health workers, trainers and legislators understand key concepts on SRHR.
This also includes analysing the needs of vulnerable groups and taking action to ensure that all Pacific Islanders claim their right to the highest possible standard of health and wellbeing.
“I would like to thank the SRHR Working Group for developing this manual together, comprised of a number of key organisations working to address SRHR in the region. We as Health Ministers can champion this valuable resource to be used in our Health Sectors and with relevant service providers.” Minister Usamate added.
Government commitment has progressed towards achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) goals in the Pacific. The number of Pacific Island countries with national population policies is increasing and the integration of sexual and reproductive health into primary health programmes has also improved.
The Pacific region is doing well in reducing child mortality as 10 out of the 14 forum island countries are on track in achieving this goal. 9 countries have also made notable progress in reducing maternal mortality, reporting close to 100 per cent skilled birth attendance. These gains would not have been possible without a consistent effort from SRHR advocates across government and civil society.
At the global level, 2015 is a critical time for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) agenda. Last year marked 20 years since the ground breaking Cairo Consensus emerged from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
2015 also marked 20 years since the 4th World Conference on Women and the resulting Beijing De Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the deadline for achieving the MDG targets.
This is a crucial time for SRHR advocates around the world to unite and ensure that SRHR remains a global priority in the Post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Agenda.
The manual is a collaborative project by member organisations of the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Working Group, with secretariat support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT).
The following organisations are represented in the SRHR Working Group: Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN); Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA for Equality); Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM); International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF); Oceania Society for Sexual Health and HIV Medicine (OSSHHM); Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS); Pacific Youth Council (PYC); SPC Human Development Programme (HDP); SPC Public Health Division (PHD);SPC Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT); and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
5. FIJIAN GOVERNMENT COMMENDS GREEN CLIMATE FUND INITIATIVES
The Fijian Government has commended the Green Climate Fund for the initiatives it has in store for the Pacific region in relation to combating the impacts of climate change.
Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with the Fund’s general counsel Rutger de Witt Wijnen this week at the Fund’s headquarters in Incheone, South Korea.
They met to discuss the work of the Fund and how the Pacific region could be assisted in its efforts to minimise the impacts of climate change.
Mr Wijnen said the GCF was founded as a mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
He added that it was a fund within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Minister Kubuabola said the Fijian Government fully supported the work of the Fund particularly in assistance rendered to Small Island Developing States like Fiji.
Minister Kubuabola also took the opportunity to extend an invitation to the Fund’s Executive Director Ms. Hela Cheikhrouhou to be part of the 2015 Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Summit scheduled for August 12 to 14.
“The PIDF is a new regional organization comprising Pacific island countries, Non-Government-Organizations (NGO) and the private sector. Green growth and climate change is at the core of the PIDF’s existence,” Ratu Inoke said.
Mr Wijnen thanked the Minister for considering the Fund to be part of the Summit and pledged to do his best to ensure that the agency was represented in August.
Mr Wijnen revealed that the Fund was proposing to hold one of its regional meetings in Nadi in July this year and sought the support of Minister Kubuabola and the Fijian Government on this.
Minister Kubuabola assured Government’s support of the plans to hold their meeting in Nadi and stood ready to assist them.
Also at the meeting in Incheon were Jillian Dyszynski, the GCF’s Country Operational Dialogue Specialist and the Second Secretary of the Fiji Embassy in Seoul Jaljeet Kumar.
6. BEEKEEPING WORKSHOP IN LAKENA
A two days Module 1 workshop on Bee Keeping was held on the 15th-16th April, 2015 at the Lakena Agriculture Station Conference Room.
A total of 40 participants from the Suva-Nausori corridor and from the three Provinces of Tailevu, Rewa and Naitasiri and three resources personnel attended the workshop.
The workshop was closed by the Principal Agriculture Officer, Central Division Mrs. Tepola Seniloli with the issuing of the certificates to the participants.
7. Ministry committed to inclusive youth development
Suva, April 17 – Representatives of the national executive committee of the Fiji Muslim Youth Movement were informed of government’s commitment towards the inclusive development of young Fijians.
In a consultation with leaders of the Fiji Muslim Youth Movement, the Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou assured them of the Ministry’s revitalised approach on service delivery.
“In the last 8 months, we have changed the way we deliver our services whereby instead of us handing out training programs and giving advice, we have changed our approach to go and sit down with youth groups and share thoughts with each other so that we can benchmark how the Ministry has been delivering its service in the last three years.
“Another overview of this visit that I would like to mention is that Government prides itself in its inclusive stance towards development regardless of the youth groups’ status,” Minister Tuitubou said.
Highlighting the different circumstances surrounding individual respective youth groups, he reaffirmed the Ministry’s stance of bringing government services to the youth populace.
“Even if the youth group is financially stable or poor, located rurally or in a semi or peri-urban area and regardless of faith and race, we will reach your youth group and the Ministry’s services will be delivered to you,” he said.
“We are privileged to be here tonight to also learn from your youth movement and see what government programmes are best suited to assist your youth group and also to look at ways government can further help your youth movement develop.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Josefa Sania expressed his appreciation of the Fiji Muslim Youth Movement’s structured system.
“From the presentation we can tell that you have a well-structured and balanced system in place which is very encouraging for us and there is also emphasis on leadership training which is very good,” said Mr Sania.
He added that government was also focused on leadership and that emphasis was placed on preparing young leaders for the future.
Fiji Muslim Youth Movement president Aniz Khan echoed the same sentiments and that the youth branch was committed to nurturing youths.
“The Fiji Muslim Youth Movement has been operating as a subsidiary movement of the Fiji Muslim League for quite a number of years and we have taken the cue from the Government and have paid particular focus on youth and youth development,” said Mr Khan.
“This is the age group from where we train and nurture our leaders for tomorrow,” he said.
Issues brought to the attention of the ministry delegation by executives of the Fiji Muslim Youth Movement included the high cost of transportation for conducting of youth camps, loss of skilled youth leaders, shortage of camping facilities, lack of resource personnel for leadership trainings, need for public/private partnership for leadership training, financial constraints and provision of umpires and referees for sanctioned sporting tournaments and activities.
The Minister also gave his assurance that issues brought up by the executive members would be looked at by the ministry’s taskforce.