1. EARLY INTERVENTION VITAL FOR SPECIAL NEEDS – Early intervention will help children with disabilities grow up to become fully productive and independent individuals in society.
2. TWO NEW DIPLOMATS JOIN RANKS – Fiji’s diplomatic corps will see two new members in its ranks with the incoming envoys from India and the Arab Republic of Egypt presenting their credentials today.
3. PS EDUCATION ENCOURAGES IT DEVELOPMENT IN SCHOOLS – Ministry of Education acting permanent secretary, Basundra Kumar this week visited the Nadroga/Navosa education office and emphasised the importance of IT development in schools.
4. PLANS UNDERWAY TO RELOCATE IN THE WESTERN DIVISION- Plans are underway for the relocation of 10 villages, in the Western Division, facing the effects of climate change and natural disasters.
5. SOUTH – SOUTH COOPERATION PROJECT AND PSC LEARN FROM INDONESIA – Following an official launch by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Rear Admiral (Retired) Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, at the Second Summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, the Project for Strengthening the Implementation Capability of South-South Corporation continues to make headway as for the Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand and senior PSC officials take a study tour of Indonesia.
1. EARLY INTERVENTION VITAL FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
Early intervention will help children with disabilities grow up to become fully productive and independent individuals in society.
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, while commending the Hilton Organisation for its work done for disabled children, highlighted how the Bill of Rights section of The 2013 Constitution has been expanded including the rights of persons with disabilities.
“I hope that Fiji will be able to progress this right to include the right to early intervention,” Ratu Epeli said as he was opening the Hilton Inaugural Art Exhibition held in aid to raise $150,000 for the establishment of Audiology and Speech Therapy Unit in Fiji, by early 2015.
“This is a most welcome initiative, which I have every confidence will be supported by the Government as part of the ongoing efforts to raise the standard of services and care provided to all the people in Fiji, irrespective of our socio-economic background or abilities.”
He said early intervention would help a disabled child’s developmental, social, and educational gains and can, in the long run, help to reduce the future costs of special education, rehabilitation and health care needs.
The Hilton Organisation caters for 130 individuals and operates the Hilton Special School, Hilton Early Intervention Centre and the Hilton House Hostel.
The art exhibition featured many local artists, who had on display their painting and, who will donate 20 per cent of their sale income towards the Hilton Organization.
The event provided an opportunity for local artists including Craig Marlow, Warwick Marlow, Anare Somumu, Waqa Vuidreketi, Mason Lee, Irami Buli, Lori Absell, Maria Rova, Sharon Light, Pravin Sen, Reapi Blyde to be recognised and applauded for their contribution to Art.
2. TWO NEW DIPLOMATS JOIN RANKS
Fiji’s diplomatic corps will see two new members in its ranks with the incoming envoys from India and the Arab Republic of Egypt presenting their credentials today.
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau welcomed India’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Gitesh Sarma and Egypt’s Ambassador to Fiji, Hassan El-Laithy at Government House.
Mr Sarma joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986 and has a Master of Arts in Political Science.
He served as an Indian diplomat in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Pakistan, England and was serving as the Ambassador to Uzbekistan prior to his posting to Fiji.
The new ambassador from Egypt, Mr El-Laithy, will be non-resident to Fiji because he will be based in Canberra.
He has a Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Al Azhar and was holding on to the post of Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs prior to his current appointment.
Mr El-Laithy previously represented Egypt in various capacities in Abu Dhabi, Libya, Germany and was Ambassador to Slovakia.
He is fluent in English, German and French.
3. PS EDUCATION ENCOURAGES IT DEVELOPMENT IN SCHOOLS
Ministry of Education acting permanent secretary, Basundra Kumar this week visited the Nadroga/Navosa education office and emphasised the importance of IT development in schools.
“We are living in an age where our students are classified as digital natives due to the exposure they have to the new technologies in existence. It is this knowledge and skill that we need to develop to ensure they grow and are developed to their full capacity,” Mrs Kumar said.
“We need to work on the strengths that we identify in our students and cultivate that interest to allow them to transit to the highest level of education possible.”
“We have allocated 10 per cent of the fee free grant towards IT development in schools and we are counting on school managements and school heads to design strategic plans to upgrade IT in their school.”
Mrs Kumar emphasised on thorough preparation before the final school term begins. She stressed to the education officers at Nadroga/Navosa education district to mobilise their school heads to their schools by the end of this week so they can ensure that the school premises are clean and ready.
“It is the responsibility of the school heads to check the schools and notify school managements on actions needed to have the schools ready before the beginning of the new term,” Mrs Kumar said.
She highlighted the need to beautify schools to create an environment that is conducive to learning.
“We need to have beautification projects and programmes in our schools to maintain its neatness and tidiness. This will create enthusiasm within students, teachers and stakeholders to work in collaboration and aspire towards excellence in all aspects. A clean environment will create a clear mindset, clear conscience, clear goals and clear direction that contribute to the holistic development of a child.”
4. PLANS UNDERWAY TO RELOCATE IN THE WESTERN DIVISION
Plans are underway for the relocation of 10 villages, in the Western Division, facing the effects of climate change and natural disasters.
Acting Commissioner Western Luke Moroivalu said the office had conducted surveys and from the result these villages needed to be relocated because they were prone to flooding.
“Relocation is an expensive exercise, however we need to draw up proper guidelines that will outline the various projects that will be included to assist the people,” Mr Moroivalu said.
“When we talk about relocation of villages, we need to consider funding, sanitation, water supply, economic projects that will assist villagers.”
Mr Moroivalu highlighted that various agencies need to have holistic approach to such projects because we are dealing with the livelihood of people.
“We need to involve all stakeholders during the planning period and ensure there is no duplication of exercises to allow villagers to understand the purpose of relocation and how well they can adapt to the new environment,” Mr Moroivalu said.
Semo Village in Nadroga will be among the first to be relocated because it is prone to flooding.
Earlier this year, during his visit to the flood affected areas, the Prime Minister Rear Admiral Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama said relocation would put an end to flooding in these villages.
5. SOUTH – SOUTH COOPERATION PROJECT AND PSC LEARN FROM INDONESIA
Following an official launch by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Rear Admiral (Retired) Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, at the Second Summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, the Project for Strengthening the Implementation Capability of South-South Corporation continues to make headway as for the Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand and senior PSC officials take a study tour of Indonesia.
The South South Cooperation Project, which is a triangular partnership between Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu, involves the provision of technical assistance by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the PSC, the main implementing agency, to establish short term regional training programmes to selected officers from the three countries.
Following the needs survey in the two countries, three modalities of training have been identified and will be implemented.
The first involves the provision of training through courses that are provided by the Annual PSC Training Calendar. This includes Human Resource Strategies such as the implementation of Workforce Plans, Annual Corporate Plans and the like.
The second modality involves technical training courses such as renewable energy, marine electric engineering, automotive/ heavy equipment maintenance and several other programmes. The final modality is through collaboration with JICA’s regional projects such as waste management, health related training courses and disaster management.
The study tour, which takes place over the course of this week, will involve meetings with officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, Electronic Engineering Polytechnic Institute of Surabaya, the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning and the National Family Planning Coordinating Board as well as a courtesy call to the Fiji Embassy Indonesia.
Mr Chand said the study tour of Indonesia was an excellent opportunity for the PSC and the project team to learn the benefits and challenges of triangular partnership with JICA, and third-country training systems that could be applied to the ongoing South South Co-operation Project.
“We are looking forward to learning from this study tour and the relevant applications that it will have on our own South South Cooperation Project design,” he said.
“We hope to incorporate their strengths into our own project to benefit the officers who will be participating in our regional training programme.”
Mr Chand shared his gratitude toward the Japanese Government for its continued support and show of confidence in the Fijian Government as they work toward workforce capability development of the not only Fiji as implementing partners, but that of our regional neighbours.