1. FIRST INFANT SCHOOL IN YASAWA TO ENCOURAGE EARLY EDUCATION – The first infant school in Yasawa and the second for Fiji was opened last week on the island by the Permanent Secretary for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Dr. Brij Lal.
2. FINAL MODULE IN MEDIATION SKILLS TRAINING AND ACCREDITATION FOR POTENTIAL MEDIATORS – The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment in conjunction with the Singapore Mediation Center [SMC] will be concluding final module in mediation skills training and accreditation from Monday 11th to Thursday 14th November 2013, at the Holiday Inn, Suva.
3. EDUCATION PEN MOU WITH SCOUTS FIJI – A memorandum of understanding signed by both the Fiji Scouts Association and the Ministry of Education will see both parties work in partnership to train scouts and promote scouting activities in schools.
4. GLOBAL WOMEN’S FEDERATION COMMENDS FIJIAN GOVERNMENT’S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS – The All China Women’s Federation (ACWF) of China has commended the Fijian Government’s commitment to improving the lives of women in the country.
5. EDUCATION AUTHORITIES HOLD DISASTER MEET – Education authorities in the Western Division carried out a two day workshop designed to strengthen their response in times of disasters.
1 FIRST INFANT SCHOOL IN YASAWA TO ENCOURAGE EARLY EDUCATION
The first infant school in Yasawa and the second for Fiji was opened last week on the island by the Permanent Secretary for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Dr. Brij Lal.
The construction of the $500,000-Navotua Infant School in Nacula village school includes 3 new classrooms and two teachers’ quarters.
This establishment of the infant school is an initiative of the Prime Minister with the sole purpose of encouraging education at a young age. It is also aimed at providing education closer to home for students in the age group six to eight years.
In his message, Dr Lal pointed out the contribution by all those that have made the opening of the school possible.
“It is an occasion of great significance in many ways. It is significant because of the cooperation of government ministries and the landowners of Nacula who have made the establishment of the school and construction of Navotua Infant School possible. The government at all levels, national, provincial and local have made important contributions, both symbolic and very practical in the establishment of the infant schools,” said Dr. Lal.
“The significance of this occasion extends beyond the establishment and opening of the school. The accessibility and delivery of quality education to the students and their parents now and in the years ahead is perhaps the important dimension,” remarked Dr. Lal.
Nacula Village chief Ratu Epeli Vuetibau expressed his appreciation to the government for its commitment to education. He said that the school would surely “yield bounties for the island in terms of educational development.”
2 FINAL MODULE IN MEDIATION SKILLS TRAINING AND ACCREDITATION FOR POTENTIAL MEDIATORS
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment in conjunction with the Singapore Mediation Center [SMC] will be concluding final module in mediation skills training and accreditation from Monday 11th to Thursday 14th November 2013, at the Holiday Inn, Suva.
The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment Mr. Jone Usamate highlighted that the purpose of this training is to enhance the capabilities of the ministry’s inspectorate staff and to effectively conduct conflict resolution in labour disputes.
Mr. Usamate said that the training will be coordinated by Mr. George Lim, and Mr. Tat Lim who are professional instructors from SMC.
“Both the instructors have in-depth knowledge and extensive practicing experience in mediation both locally and at international level and are highly qualified.” he said.
“The result of the SMC’s high quality level of training and transferring of potential skills in the past years to the Ministry has attributed to the high settlement rate of dispute resolution to 86% by the Ministry’s Mediation Unit, within the first 10 months this year.”
“This has far exceeds 75 percent against the international standard of dispute settlement in the Asian Pacific region.” he adds.
He also commented ‘that the Mediation Unit had also recovered and paid out $858,895.30 to the complainants including 29 workers who were reinstated in their former positions.
“The training will involve 24 Officers of which 12 officers will proceed to final phase of training to qualify for Accreditation as a Mediator, while 12 new officers will undertake first module training.”
“The training is structured on three modules that involve hands-on, experiential learning with the mix of theory and practical application of mediation process through simulation exercises.”
He adds that this training will include video-taped assessment of their ability to apply the mediation skills gained over the last two modules and will be subsequently assessed by the SMC. The successful participants from this training program will be accredited as Mediators to join the existing penal of Ministry’s Mediators.
This four days Mediation training program will be officially opened by the President of the Fiji Court of Appeal, Hon. Mr. Justice William Calanchini.
3 EDUCATION PEN MOU WITH SCOUTS FIJI
A memorandum of understanding signed by both the Fiji Scouts Association and the Ministry of Education will see both parties work in partnership to train scouts and promote scouting activities in schools.
The signing defined the boundaries between the Ministry of Education and the Fiji Scouts Association in the implementation of the scouting programs and activities as well as the involvement of teachers as facilitators in these activities.
The Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr. Brij Lal while giving his address said that this MOU will empower students in character building, learning life skills and becoming good citizens of this beloved nation.
“This partnership is to ensure that we identify and utilise the potential within our students to groom them for a better future. All scouts organised activities should be done in consultation with the Ministry of Education to ensure that the welfare and development of our youths is always top priority,” commented Dr.Lal.
The Fiji Scouts Association president Mr Abhay Nand said that this development has a common goal of nurturing sound individuals for a better future.
“Our priority is to build youths of our nation to be sound individuals who can make an impact not only in Fiji but around the world. I want to proudly say that so far the Ministry of Education has been very helpful and supportive in all the activities and the training we have conducted. The Fiji Scouts Association is hopeful that the government through the ministry will consider giving some grant to assist this good cause,” remarked Mr. Nand.
The Fiji Scouts Association currently has 8,0000 registered members.
4 GLOBAL WOMEN’S FEDERATION COMMENDS FIJIAN GOVERNMENT’S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS
The All China Women’s Federation (ACWF) of China has commended the Fijian Government’s commitment to improving the lives of women in the country.
The delegation was in the country to look at major projects carried out by the Ministry of Women especially those that target women in rural and remote communities in the country.
This week, the 5 member delegation accompanied Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni to Korobebe and Nagado village in Nadi on Wednesday. The delegation witnessed the official launching of the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign in these two communities.
While addressing the communities, Madam Zhao Donghua, the vice-president for ACWF commended the Ministry for reaching out to the women in rural villages.
“We are very glad to have this opportunity to learn from Ministry of Women’s major projects that we could like replicate in China. China is the largest developing country in the world and has a population of 1.3 billion and women account for half of the total population which is about 650 million and children’s population is about 280 million.
“The ACWF is considered the largest women’s organisation not only in China and our purpose is to carry out all the activities and programs to promote happy and healthy life for women and children not only in China but around the globe. And with the support of our government gender equality has become a national policy of China,” Madam Zhao said.
She said the delegation is moved by the Fijian government’s effort to reach out and provide assistance to the most rural and remote communities in Fiji.
“From our very short stay here we have seen that the Fijian government has placed a great priority in improving the lives of women and children. We have even seen that Minister Luveni is truly committed to her work and ACWF is motivated by the Ministry’s program to empower women into social, economic and political areas. I am amazed to see the uniqueness of the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign and it’s encouraging to see that this campaign gets men to champion women’s right to live violence free lives,” Madam Zhao said.
In her welcoming address, Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said it is a privilege for Fiji to share information about women’s empowerment programs with the ACWF.
“This would further strengthen the collaboration between Fiji-China to benefit the women of both the countries. The delegation’s visit will enable them to see how the Ministry reaches out and engages with women at rural level”, Dr Luveni said.
“Through the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign, the Ministry works with the relevant stakeholders like Police to train the village gatekeepers and the entire community to access awareness programs on safeguarding the rights and interests of women. The information and training acquired through this campaign enables the women to make informed decision and improve her life. To date the Ministry has more than 60 communities on this campaign,” Dr Luveni said.
5 EDUCATION AUTHORITIES HOLD DISASTER MEET
Education authorities in the Western Division carried out a two day workshop designed to strengthen their response in times of disasters.
This disaster risk management workshop which saw the participation of school principals and head teachers in the western division, was held at Yaromo Island in Yasawa. The Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal opened the meet.
As the cyclone season begins, participants were reminded that the safety of students and teachers are paramount during times of disasters. The theme of the workshop was Setting Standards for Quality Education.
“The 4 major components we deal with in schools are teacher quality, curriculum, assessments and school governance. Leaders need to be visionary and be good role models to ensure that quality and excellence is cultured in schools,” remarked Dr. Lal.
“As leaders you should be setting the standard. A standard that will ensure that quality and excellence is realised in your schools. A standard that will ensure that the safety of the school is secured and incur minimal damages during disasters,” commented Dr. Lal.
The damages incurred in schools for Cyclone Evan last year was estimated at $5.9 million. The school leaders are expected to return and put in place measures that will ensure that their schools and resources are kept safe during disasters and to always be ready to accommodate evacuees.
Meanwhile the meet also provided the opportunity for Dr Lal to highlight some of the major reforms that will be implemented in the education sector for 2014 which includes the introduction of name change from classes and forms to year 1 to year 13.The name TVET (Technical Vocational Education Training) will be changed to TEST (Technology Employment Skills Training) and the compulsory teaching of Hindi and I Taukei languages in all primary schools.