- VILLAGERS LAUD OPENING OF CLASSROOM BLOCKS AND LIBRARY – Villagers in Sawani and those from surrounding communities have lauded the opening of ten classroom blocks and a library for Sawani Primary School today by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama.
- CONSTRUCTION WORKS BEGINS AT LAUTOKA HOSPITAL – The construction works for the New Accident and Emergency Unit at the Lautoka Hospital will commence on the 15th of September and is expected to complete in 62 weeks.
- NEW SEAWALLS TO PROTECT WESTERN VILLAGES- The construction of new seawalls in the villages of Votua–o–lailai and Tagaqe in the Western division is nearing completion.
- NEW BOARDING FACILITY TO BENEFIT CAKAUDROVE STUDENTS – A $30,000 boarding facility for Saint Paul Primary School in Naviavia Village in Wailevu West Coast of Cakaudrove will be completed soon.
- KEY STAKEHOLDERS MEET TO IMPROVE FIJI TEACHER STANDARDS – A first ever forum with an emphasis on improving teacher education and development standards in Fiji was top of the agenda at discussions among education stakeholders and participants.
- NAMOSI ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT TO BENEFIT 500 FIJIANS – More than 500 Fijians living in Namosi now have access to electricity following the commissioning of the electrification grid by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama this week .
- NFNC SUPPORTS 2014 CENTRAL DIVISION AGRICULTURE SHOW – The Ministry of Agriculture earlier this week received a donation of $3,000.00 from the National Food and Nutrition Centre (NFNC) at the as a show of support to the 2014 Central Agriculture Show and the agriculture sector as a whole.
- ADDITIONAL OFFERS RECEIVED ON LONG TERM SCHOLARSHIP FROM KOREAN GOVERNMENT – The Korean Government continues its assistance in the provision of long term scholarships under the Korean Development Institute [KDI] School of Public Policy and Management to the Fijian Government.
- FIJI CALLS FOR COLOMBO PLAN TO REFLECT COUNTRY NEEDS – Fiji will be hosting the 45th Colombo Plan Consultative Committee Meeting (CCM) in 2016 for the first time since it became member of the Colombo Plan Secretariat in 1972.
- MOE TO ESTABLISH FRAMEWORK ON TEACHER STANDARDS – The Ministry of Education and relevant stakeholders are identifying components to establish a framework for teacher standards in Fiji.
1 VILLAGERS LAUD OPENING OF CLASSROOM BLOCKS AND LIBRARY
Villagers in Sawani and those from surrounding communities have lauded the opening of ten classroom blocks and a library for Sawani Primary School today by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama.
Commending the $583,000 government initiative, Sawani Secondary School head teacher, Kesa Seru said that she was grateful to the assistance rendered to the school.
“We would like to thank the government in particularly the Prime Minister’s office for this investment and also the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander, Brigadier General, Mosese Tikoitoga,” Mrs Seru said.
“The school has been in need of renovations for some time now and we thank Brigadier General Tikoitoga for facilitating this request of assistance. The children here today are excited to see their new classrooms.”
Sawani villager and parent, Raijieli Naiteqe, shared similar sentiments.
“We are amazed at the way this school has been transformed and it is a dream come true for the children and also the parents,” Mrs Naiteqe said.
“We have been pleading with previous governments to fix this school and we are happy that our pleas have been finally heard today.”
Navatuvula villager, Marika Sereanaivalu said that students now were fortunate to have new classrooms compared to the old classrooms that they had.
“It’s a big boost to the children and the onus is now on them to study hard. As a parent, it’s also a memorable day for us to see our children in new classrooms in addition to the free education grant that has been provided by the government.
The Sawani Primary School project was funded by the PM’s Office and constructed by the RFMF Engineers. This latest development includes 2 teachers’ quarters, a kindergarten and an ablution block that is expected to be complete soon.
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2 CONSTRUCTION WORKS BEGINS AT LAUTOKA HOSPITAL
The construction works for the New Accident and Emergency Unit at the Lautoka Hospital will commence on the 15th of September and is expected to complete in 62 weeks.
While initial works will include excavation and the removal of excess material from the front of the existing A&E, this latest development will provide enhanced health services to the people in the West.
The Health Ministry advises that the services at the hospital will operate as normal as the two departments GOPD (General Outpatients Departments) and the Emergency Departments will be relocated to the entrance at the Physio department.
The Health Ministry also advises that staff and patients can expect some disturbances due to works that will be carried out. However all necessary measures will be taken by the construction company to ensure that this is at a minimum.
Meanwhile signs and directions will be placed during relocation next week for ease of the public.
The Health Ministry says that the overdue works at the hospital will provide a new step in quality health care for Fijians in the Western Division.
3 NEW SEAWALLS TO PROTECT WESTERN VILLAGES
The construction of new seawalls in the villages of Votua–o–lailai and Tagaqe in the Western division is nearing completion.
This development which is intended to mitigate the rising sea level will also be welcomed by villagers whose homes and communities are often affected during high tide. The Nadroga/Navosa provincial administrator Peni Koro said the impacts of climate change and rising sea level were being felt not only in these villages but in other communities across the country.
“We are committed to providing the means and measures to help our people in their efforts to protect and mitigate the effects of climate change on their land and natural resources,” the Prime Minister said during the talanoa session when opening the St. Peter Channel Primary School.
“Government remains committed to ensuring that effective mitigation policies are implemented to minimise impacts of rising sea level and global warming as a result of climate change.”
The project, implemented by the office of the Prime Minister, funded the construction of seawall projects for the two villages while the construction of the seawall at Naboutini is progressing well.
Votua – o – lailai turaga ni koro Sireli Nauka said they had never seen a Government with a faster turnaround time.
“We have never had a request that has been answered so fast. We are grateful that the Prime Minister has delivered on his promise which he made in March, 2014,” Mr Nauka said.
“The seawall is a very critical feature to our villages because most homes are just by the sea.”
The climate change unit under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during its National Climate Change Policy launch highlighted there are 400 villages in Fiji that need to be relocated.
The cost of building seawalls in these three (Votua, Votua O Lailai and Tagaqe) villages cost $60,000.
All three seawalls will be completed before the end of the year.
4 NEW BOARDING FACILITY TO BENEFIT CAKAUDROVE STUDENTS
A $30,000 boarding facility for Saint Paul Primary School in Naviavia Village in Wailevu West Coast of Cakaudrove will be completed soon.
Cakaudrove provincial administrator Inoke Roko said one third (1/3) of the cost was covered by the village and two thirds (2/3) was government-funded.
“This is a 2012 project, where the Government is ensuring proper education facilities is provided to our children,” Mr Roko said.
“This should finish by the end of this year and students can begin using this next year”, Roko added.
Nemani Naqase of Naviabia village said this latest development demonstrates Government’s commitment to ensure that every child including those in rural areas have access to quality education.
“School children walk from far and travel at a far distance daily to get to school, but with this facility they can now be in school on time,” the happy parent said.
Village Headman Sade Marika said they were thankful to Government for finally looking into their plight to construct a new boarding facility.
“This will surely help our children so they don’t have to struggle anymore,” he said
Saint Pauls Primary has about 100 students.
5 KEY STAKEHOLDERS MEET TO IMPROVE FIJI TEACHER STANDARDS
A first ever forum with an emphasis on improving teacher education and development standards in Fiji was top of the agenda at discussions among education stakeholders and participants.
While opening the ‘National Seminar on Quality Teacher Development and Quality Learning’ the Ministry of Education acting permanent secretary Basundra Kumar said the while the focus was directed to quality learning, this seminar would include the issue of having quality teachers in this process.
“Teachers are at the heart of every education system. The plans and strategies for the initial preparation and ongoing professional development of teachers are central elements of the process and targets relating to quality, access and equity in education,” Mrs Kumar said.
“It is through the quality of teaching that schools can make a difference to the life chances of their students. Therefore, teacher effectiveness is the key to improved educational outcomes
“The seminar is a good platform to discuss issues and map out strategies collectively to strengthen teacher policies and teacher training to ensure teacher effectiveness.
“This seminar is intended to define the attributes of a Pacific teacher for the 21st Century and to develop a framework for teacher development as important standards for all teacher training institutions which are consistent with the Ministry of Education expectations.”
The permanent secretary urged relevant stakeholders to work together and in close partnership with the Ministry of Education to achieve quality education.
The seminar aims to develop a framework for basic standards for teacher development . This is in line with key strategy proposed for the post-2014 education agenda to be adopted at the World Education Forum in 2015.
The two-day meet at the Holiday Inn includes participation of representatives from the three different universities, teacher unions, Council of Pacific Education (COPE), regional partners, Access to Quality Education (AQEP), Fiji Head Teachers Association, Fiji Principals Association and senior management of the Ministry of Education.
6 NAMOSI ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT TO BENEFIT 500 FIJIANS
More than 500 Fijians living in Namosi now have access to electricity following the commissioning of the electrification grid by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama this week .
The Namosi electrification grid project is a joint partnership between the Namosi Joint Venture and the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development.
Provincial Administrator Namosi, Nicholas Ting said that the $240,000 project’s main aim was to benefit mostly students of Namosi Primary and Namosi Secondary School.
“Students will now be able to use the electricity supply for studying at night and also use computers and internet,” Mr Ting said.
Commending the private and public sector initiative, Namosi Secondary School parent, Manueli Waikilami said that he was grateful for the assistance from both Namosi Joint Venture and the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development.
“I am pleased to be here to witness the commissioning of the electrification grid as now I know my form 5 daughter will have a better chance of studying at night with the reliable power supply,” Mr Waikilami said.
“This is a happy occasion for us and calls for much celebration. We will also no longer be dependent on kerosene lamps with this new power supply.”
The Namosi electrification grid project will benefit the villages of Namosi, Nasigatoka, Navunibau, Narukunibua and Waivaka apart from Namosi Primary and Namosi Secondary School.
The Namosi Joint Venture paid one tenth of the total cost of the project which was $24,000 and the remaining $216,000 was paid by the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development.
7 NFNC SUPPORTS 2014 CENTRAL DIVISION AGRICULTURE SHOW
The Ministry of Agriculture earlier this week received a donation of $3,000.00 from the National Food and Nutrition Centre (NFNC) at the as a show of support to the 2014 Central Agriculture Show and the agriculture sector as a whole.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Ropate Ligairi thanked the NFNC for the timely contribution and for always supporting the agriculture Sector.
“It is a pleasure having the National Food and Nutrition Centre as one of our sponsors and partner in the maintenance of the nation’s health,” he said.
Food Security Officer, Asaeli Naika on behalf of the National Food and Nutrition Centre said the organization is proud for sponsoring.
“As an organisation involved with the Ministry of Agriculture donating to the 2014 Central Agriculture Show is an honor and we look forward to continue working with the Ministry,” he said.
The NFNC will sponsor the Best Organic Crop Farmer, Best School Garden and Best Vegetable Farmer of the Central Division Year awards at Syria Park, Nausori.
The Farmers Awards was held on Thursday (11/09) at Syria Park. Minister for Agriculture Colonel Inia Seruiratu will formally close the Agriculture Show later today.
8 ADDITIONAL OFFERS RECEIVED ON LONG TERM SCHOLARSHIP FROM KOREAN GOVERNMENT
The Korean Government continues its assistance in the provision of long term scholarships under the Korean Development Institute [KDI] School of Public Policy and Management to the Fijian Government.
The scholarship offers are open to all Civil servants as well as those from the statutory bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations. Participants are invited to apply to be given the opportunity to further their education in Korea from February 2015. The scholarships are for Masters and PH.D awards and cover the areas of Finance and Macroeconomic Policy, Trade and Industry Policy, Public Finance and Social Policy, Regional Development and Environment, Public Administration, Strategic Management and Leadership, and Global Governance and Political Economy.
The Public Service permanent secretary Mr Parmesh Chand, said these scholarships provide the opportunity for capacity building in the public service as the programs are in line with the nations’ training needs.
“Public Officers should take this great opportunity to upgrade their academic and professional capacity in the area they wish to excel”.
Applicants must be less than 45 years of age, have a minimum of five (5) years’ experience in the public sector and are officially recommended by the respective Permanent Secretary.
They must also possess undergraduate/postgraduate certificate/diploma degree or its equivalent, not be under any bonding obligation, have a good command of English and be physically and mentally fit. Successful applicants will be entitled to the payment of his/her tuition fees, a monthly allowance, accommodation, text book and materials, insurance cover and return economy airfare.
Details of the Scholarship, admission into the programmes, contact officers and closing date for submitting applications for respective programs can be obtained from PSC website: www.psc.gov.fj
9 FIJI CALLS FOR COLOMBO PLAN TO REFLECT COUNTRY NEEDS
Fiji will be hosting the 45th Colombo Plan Consultative Committee Meeting (CCM) in 2016 for the first time since it became member of the Colombo Plan Secretariat in 1972.
After successful negotiations at the recent committee meeting in Kathmandu, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Amena Yauvoli, was appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the meeting.
Since Fiji will assume Chair for the 2016 meeting, Mr Yauvoli proposed that the functions of the Colombo Plan is reviewed to identify the specific needs of the member countries, including areas such as Climate Change, Disaster Management and collaboration with other regional organizations.
He informed the member countries that smaller island nations in the Pacific region are invited to join the Colombo Plan Secretariat at a reduced annual membership fee.
Fiji’s position to host the eminent meeting was further strengthened when the United States of America proposed Fiji to the 27- member countries.
Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to India His Excellency Tarcisius Eri seconded USA’s nomination.
Fiji’s High Commissioner to India and Non-Resident Ambassador to Nepal High Commissioner Yogesh Karan, who attended the meeting with Mr Yauvoli said that Fiji has been negotiating to host the meeting since 2012 and had presented Fiji’s interest at the 43rd committee meeting in Manado, Indonesia.
Speaking at the 44th meeting held in Kathmandu this week, Mr. Yauvoli said that, “Fiji is very privileged to host the 2016 biennial meeting in the Pacific where other Pacific Island countries would be invited to join the Colombo Plan Secretariat”.
He further said that given the opportunity to host the next meeting, Fiji would be able to review economic and social progress within the region.
The Colombo Plan is one of the oldest regional inter-governmental organizations, established in 1950 to enhance economic and social development of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including non-Commonwealth countries and countries belonging to regional groupings such as ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).
The Colombo Plan is a partnership concept of self-help and mutual-help in development aimed at socio-economic progress of its member countries.
The current programs of the Colombo Plan are in the areas of public policy formulation in an environment of globalisation and market economy, private sector development as a prime mover for growth and in drug abuse and prevention in member countries.
The Colombo Plan also provides skill development opportunities for technicians in middle level through another of its programs the Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education located in Manila and long-term scholarships.
During his visit to Nepal, Mr. Yauvoli also had the opportunity to brief the top bureaucrats, diplomats and private sector organisations on Fiji’s economic progression and on the upcoming democratic elections.
10 MOE TO ESTABLISH FRAMEWORK ON TEACHER STANDARDS
The Ministry of Education and relevant stakeholders are identifying components to establish a framework for teacher standards in Fiji.
The Ministry’s deputy secretary (Professional) for Education, Mrs Kelera Taloga said that the framework would define what is expected of a graduating teacher from all teaching training institutions.
“The framework will define the kinds of attributes that we expect from a teacher when they graduate in terms of their competency, whether it’s got to do with the subject matter or to do with their teaching skills.
“It will also define the values that we would expect a teacher to have personally which will translate through their teaching and also develop in the students,” Mrs. Taloga said.
She highlighted the need for the collaborative efforts of the institutions in establishing the standards that will be implemented into the training programs.
“They will accommodate certain activities that will inculcate these standards, because the standards we are looking at are not just the professional work but also to do with values, conduct and it is quite an encompassing framework.
The Fiji National University, Head of School of Education, Mr. Hem Chand said that the school provides high quality teacher education programs to prepare graduates to be effective teachers in schools in Fiji and acknowledges the seminar as appropriate and timely.
The framework will be established following the outcomes of day two of the seminar on Quality Teacher Education for Quality Learning of education stakeholders.