1. MINISTER URGES PUBLIC TO VISIT GOVERNMENT EXHIBITION SITE – The Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts is having its information exhibition this week at the Government Service Centre in Suva to provide first-hand information about its services to members of the public.
2. NZ HIGH COMMISSIONER PAYS COURTESY VISIT – The Minister for Education National Heritage, Culture and Arts Mr Filipe Bole was paid a courtesy visit by the New Zealand acting high commissioner to Fiji, Mr Mark Ramsden this morning.
3. FIJI CORRECTIONS SERVICE IN JAKARTA TO ENHANCE COOPERATION – Fiji Corrections Service heads are currently meeting with counterparts in Jakarta, Indonesia to pursue collaboration and enhance cooperation within the Service.
4. QUALITY BASED PAYMENT SYSTEM POSITIVE – The introduction of a quality yield based payment system for the sugar industry has seen better cane yields arriving at the country’s sugar mills this year says the Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan.
5. LIBRARY ASSISTANCE FOR SCHOOL IN KADAVU – The Library Services of Fiji has today assisted a school in Kadavu with furniture and books for the school library.
6. FLOOD SIMULATION EXERCISE FOR NADI – The Divisional Commissioner Western’s office is advising members of the public in Nadi not to be alarmed next week if they hear loud sirens as they would be conducting flood simulation exercise for the town and nearby areas.
7. CIVIL SERVANTS REMINDED OF THE IMPORTANCE OF WELLNESS – Government officials attending a two-day National Wellness Policy Symposium have been reminded of the importance of wellness and the positive contributions it can deliver in daily outputs.
1. MINISTER URGES PUBLIC TO VISIT GOVERNMENT EXHIBITION SITE
The Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts is having its information exhibition this week at the Government Service Centre in Suva to provide first-hand information about its services to members of the public.
Minister for Education Filipe Bole who visited the exhibition yesterday encouraged people to visit the exhibition to understand the services and role of the Ministry.
“We need to let the public understand what our roles are so we can work in collaboration to improve the standard of education in Fiji,” Mr Bole said.
“We also have the National Heritage, Culture and Arts here to highlight on the preservation of culture and the promotion of heritage sites that exist within our beloved Fiji,” he added.
“We have the theme “Reaching Out to Enhance Quality Education” and this theme should be maximized in this weeklong exhibition,” Mr Bole added.
Mr Bole urged all exhibitors to ensure that those who visit the displays return with satisfaction.
“Provide them (public) with the information and the services they require. We need the support of the public in our quest to develop Fiji into a knowledge based society,” Mr Bole said.
“This exhibition is in line with the government’s desire to serve members of the public with the queries and issues that they may seek to know or clarify. It is a means of providing services to ordinary members of the public as they deserve much higher standards of attention, efficiency, courtesy and respect.”
The Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts began its exhibition on Monday with selected schools in Suva also participating in the activities which will continue through to midday Saturday where the Ministry permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal will formally close the weeklong activity.
2. NZ HIGH COMMISSIONER PAYS COURTESY VISIT
The Minister for Education National Heritage, Culture and Arts Mr Filipe Bole was paid a courtesy visit by the New Zealand acting high commissioner to Fiji Mr Mark Ramsden this morning.
Mr Ramsden was appointed as the New Zealand acting high commissioner to Fiji in September 2013.
A career foreign service officer, Mr Ramsden served as High Commissioner to Solomon Islands (cross-credited to Nauru) from 2009 to 2013.
Prior to that, Mr Ramsden held management roles in the New Zealand Aid Programme and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
He has had previous offshore assignments at the New Zealand Mission to the United Nations in New York, New Zealand High Commissions in Port Moresby and Port Vila, and on secondment to the Australian Government in Canberra.
In his brief discussion with Mr Bole, Mr Ramsden focused on the current system of education in Fiji and New Zealand and how both countries can cooperate for betterment in the education sector.
Mr Ramsden also highlighted possible avenues for reviving scholarships for Fijians in New Zealand and the opportunities for studies available there.
Mr Bole acknowledged the visit by the the acting commissioner saying that this was a positive move to address the educational development between the two countries.
3. FIJI CORRECTIONS SERVICE IN JAKARTA TO ENHANCE COOPERATION
Fiji Corrections Service heads are currently meeting with counterparts in Jakarta, Indonesia to pursue collaboration and enhance cooperation within the Service.
Fiji’s Commissioner of Corrections Lieutenant Colonel Ifereimi Vasu and his Deputy, Mr Peniasi Kunatuba, yesterday had fruitful exchanges with Corrections Service in Jakarta on the nature and operation of their respective institutions focusing on the common challenges that affect offenders and how they each deal with such problems.
Both countries Corrections Services agreed to pursue collaboration to enhance their cooperation in various fields by way of a Memorandum of Understanding.
Lt. Col Vasu and Mr Kunatuba also visited Prison establishments dealing with drug offenders, women and juveniles within the greater Jakarta area.
Apart from praising the efficient way in which such establishments were managed and administered, the duo were particularly impressed with the programmes instituted for the inmates.
The fact that specialised entities outside of the Corrections Services were utilised to enhance the rehabilitation of inmates spoke highly of the cooperation and support rendered by the Indonesian Government agencies and NGOs specialising in those services.
Of significance also is the critical role of religious bodies in such cooperative and symbiotic relationship.
The variety of activities that kept inmates occupied-men, women and juveniles alike-while sharpening their skills and talents to prepare them for life after the prison.
The duo were encouraged as most of what they observed in principle and practice were the core of the Yellow Ribbon and rehabilitation programs that the Fiji’s Corrections Service have been pursuing.
Commissioner Vasu and Mr Kunatuba also visited fisheries and agriculture product processing centers for an exposure to what can be adapted to complement the commercial activities currently being undertaken to prepare Fiji inmates for life after confinement.
The duo would return to Fiji tomorrow October 3, 2013.
4. QUALITY BASED PAYMENT SYSTEM POSITIVE
The introduction of a quality yield based payment system for the sugar industry has seen better cane yields arriving at the country’s sugar mills this year says the Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan.
Mr Khan said the full implementation of the quality based payment system would begin by next year.
“We are currently running it (quality payment system) parallel with the normal cane payment system this year but it will be fully implemented by next year,” Mr Khan said.
“But we have already seen a change in the cane quality coming to the four mills which is a positive sign.”
Mr Khan says better yields mean quality sugar and with the preferential agreement with the European Union coming to a conclusion in 2017, Fiji’s sugar will be in the global markets competing with other sugar producing nations.
“We are still negotiating with the EU to move it ( preferential agreement) to 2020 or even beyond but the more the quality the sugar, the better it is for us and our markets,” Mr Khan added.
Meanwhile, Fiji’s four sugar mills have crushed a little more than 1.1million tonnes of sugarcane producing more than 121,000 tonnes of sugar for Fiji’s market.
Mr Khan has also indicated that the Penang and Labasa mills are likely to seize crushing towards the end of next month while Lautoka and Ba will conclude in November.
5. LIBRARY ASSISTANCE FOR SCHOOL IN KADAVU
The Library Services of Fiji has today assisted a school in Kadavu with furniture and books for the school library.
The Vunisei District School in Naceva in Kadavu received tables, chairs, library shelves and more than a hundred new library books worth over $2000.
The school head teacher Mr Rusiate Togotogonu said he was overwhelmed by the assistance the school had received from the department.
“I am thankful to the Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Services for this great assistance that will benefit the 70 students of Vunisei District School,” Mr Togotogonu said.
The Vunisei District School caters for five villages from the district of Naceva in Kadavu.
A team from the Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Services is currently distributing library assistance in Kadavu as part of its outreach programme.
6. FLOOD SIMULATION EXERCISE FOR NADI
The Divisional Commissioner Western’s office is advising members of the public in Nadi not to be alarmed next week if they hear loud sirens as they would be conducting flood simulation exercise for the town and nearby areas.
The two day exercise from October 7 – 8 is part of a holistic approach taken by Government and other stakeholders in the preparation towards the cyclone season which begins next month.
Nadi district officer Jiuta Waqavonovono said the impact of flooding in low lying areas particularly in villages along the Nadi River is of concern to Government hence the need for such an exercise.
“The exercise will involve five villages namely Sikituru, Yavusania, Navatulevu, Maqalevu and Narewa and four schools – Nadi Muslim College, Ratu Navula College, Nadi District and Nadi Primary school,” Mr Waqavonovono said.
“There will be loud sirens heard over the two days and even the Nadi Town Council is working together to ensure the town is participating.”
Mr Waqavonovono said the District Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and the Evacuation Centres will also be activated to raise awareness on what to do in such situations.
The flood simulation exercise is being carried out in partnership with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Nadi Town Council, the Fiji Police, the Fiji Military Forces, National Fire Authority, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Ministry of Information.
ADRA representative Mr Robert Patton said the Nadi town would be open for business as usual and business owners who are interested in taking part in the exercise can do so in their shops.
“In town it will be business as usual but shop owners wanting to be part of the exercise can do so in their shops in terms of what they will do should a flood occur,” Mr Patton said.
“We want a proactive community and not a reactive one and we would like to ensure that incase if a flood comes, people will know what to expect and what is required of them,” he added.
7. CIVIL SERVANTS REMINDED OF THE IMPORTANCE OF WELLNESS
Government officials attending a two-day National Wellness Policy Symposium have been reminded of the importance of wellness and the positive contributions it can deliver in daily outputs.
Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma said the symposium which ends tomorrow, addresses the areas and issues that contribute to wellness and which would help in the development of a national wellness policy.
“Wellness is very much related to social determinants and this relates to the seven domains of influence (which are thinking, breathing, eating, drinking, moving, resting and reproducing),” Dr Sharma said.
“These seven domains of influence determine and influence the blood chemistry (such as the blood sugar & cholesterol) and blood pressure levels,” he added.
Dr Sharma encouraged participants to attend health screenings at their nearest health centres to determine their wellness status.
“We are talking to you first because you are the top civil servants in a leadership role and be an empowered to be role models in your departments/agencies for wellness,” Dr Sharma said.
National Advisor for Non-Communicable Diseases Dr Isimeli Tukana said wellness is each individual’s responsibility.
“The Health Ministry is promoting wellness concepts and to avoid visiting hospitals people need to take ownership of their health and learn to eat healthy foods,” Dr Tukana said.
The symposium will provide an opportunity for government officials is to develop a draft national policy on wellness and implement wellness in government services.