CAPTION: Director iTaukei Institute of Language & Culture and Consul designate for Fiji High Commission in Malaysia, Pita Tagicakirewa in discussion with SEGi University rep from Malaysia.
1. NAMOSI GOVT STATION TO BENEFIT MORE THAN 4,000 FIJIANS – More than 4,000 Fijians in the province of Namosi will soon have access to basic services with the construction works on the new $200,000 Namosi Government Station expected to begin in two weeks time.
2. WORKS MINISTER TOURING WESTERN DIVISION – The Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Timoci Lesi Natuva is touring the western division assessing ongoing infrastructure projects.
3. MINISTER CALLS ON WOMEN TO TAKE ON LEADERSHIP ROLE – The women and youth of Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki have been empowered to exercise their civic right through Government’s BRIDGE programme during a three – day workshop in Tavua this week.
4. GOVERNMENT MEETS WITH MALAYSIA EDUCATION EXHIBITION TEAM – Several important issues relating to iTaukei students studying in Malaysia were ironed out during a meeting this week between the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs (MTA) and a team representing several Malaysia Universities.
1 NAMOSI GOVT STATION TO BENEFIT MORE THAN 4,000 FIJIANS
More than 4,000 Fijians in the province of Namosi will soon have access to basic services with the construction works on the new $200,000 Namosi Government Station expected to begin in two weeks time.
Provincial Administrator for Namosi and Serua, Viliame Rakai said that the Ministry of Lands has completed their survey works on the 56 acres of land that will accommodate an upgraded police post, a health centre and an office for the Department of Agriculture, Lands and Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development.
“The only phase left to complete now is the topographical survey by the Ministry of Works and the site levelling by the Fiji Roads Authority,” Rakai said.
“Once the site levelling is complete, construction works will take place.”
The provincial administrator also stated that once the government station is established, the 20 villages in the four tikinas (Wainikorovula, Veinuqa, Naqarawai and Namosi) will be able to access government services.
Previously, villagers in Namosi used to travel to Navua to access basic services.
Namosi which is renowned for its mountainous and rough terrain is the least populated province in the Central Division with more than fifty percent of its population living in the interior.
2 WORKS MINISTER TOURING WESTERN DIVISION
The Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Timoci Lesi Natuva is touring the western division assessing ongoing infrastructure projects.
The Minister is in Sigatoka today to assess projects in the Nadroga/Navosa province and to hear first hand from villagers on ways that government can improve service delivery to Fijians including methods that can empower Fijians.
“This is not the first time that Government is visiting Fijians in rural or isolated communities”, the Minister said. We want to be in a position where we can assess gaps in infrastructure and services and make sure that these are made accessible to ordinary Fijians”.
“We have projects such as roads, rural electrification, self help projects and other developments taking place in the Nadroga/Navosa province which will be beneficial to people living in the two provinces,” Minister Natuva said.
“The Sigatoka Valley Road is a major undertaking of this government and it just shows how the level of commitment that Government has towards all Fijians.”
Government has allocated close to $8 million towards developments in the two provinces especially towards income generating projects.
3 MINISTER CALLS ON WOMEN TO TAKE ON LEADERSHIP ROLE
The women and youth of Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki have been empowered to exercise their civic right through Government’s BRIDGE programme during a three – day workshop in Tavua this week.
In 2012, Government announced the implementation of the program to raise awareness on the leadership potential amongst young women around the country. The program was originally designed to empower women to be included in Fiji’s electoral process.
While closing the programme, the Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni urged the women in the western division to spearhead the aspirations of the program by raising awareness of the program and to become beacons in their homes and their communities.
“This training project supports the attainment of leadership skills of our women and youth, to increase the participation of women and youths in the political processes leading up to 2014 – from getting involved in political parties, to registering to vote, possibly enlisting as a candidate if they feel it is their calling but, most importantly, just going to the polling booths on the day and voting, thus ensuring, their voices are heard through the ballot box,” she said.
“As Fiji prepares for the 2014 elections, the BRIDGE project will set the platform to ensure inclusive participation of women in the political discourse and processes. I wish to encourage the facilitators and participants” alike, to please make use of the knowledge from this workshop for the good of your communities.”
She also acknowledged the contribution of the facilitators for their input towards raising awareness on issues related to nation building.
“Facilitators, thank you for your support in making BRIDGE a reality, without which this roll out would not have happened. The Ministry acknowledges your contribution at the same time will request that you be part of this journey towards the 2014 elections,” Minister Luveni said.
“For the participants you have been selected to be key agents of change to use the BRIDGE knowledge to reach out to women and men and to be motivators and educators. Encourage our mothers, sisters and daughters youth in your communities to participate in the electoral process and make their votes count and voices heard in the upcoming 2014 general elections.”
BRIDGE stands for Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections.
Team leader, Comeke Delana said the programme is a comprehensive election administration training curriculum, using adult learning teaching methodology, and is based on Key Understandings and Learning Outcomes
“Its objective is to train selected trainees in existing content and content development and methodology of the BRIDGE Project, provide the trainees with supported experience in conducting the BRIDGE project, provide trainees with the opportunity to modify existing and develop new BRIDGE materials and to provide a mechanism for assessing the trainees capacity to facilitate the BRIDGE Project to the required standard,” Mr Delana said.
“The BRIDGE methodology and modules are sustainable as well as they are an exit strategy in themselves for capacity building if participants are genuinely committed to transfer the knowledge and skills trigger change at all levels in perception and in practice.”
4 GOVERNMENT MEETS WITH MALAYSIA EDUCATION EXHIBITION TEAM
Several important issues relating to iTaukei students studying in Malaysia were ironed out during a meeting this week between the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs (MTA) and a team representing several Malaysia Universities.
The issues are related to the granting of visa applications; and provisional visas for students intending to study in Malaysia.
The Ministry also received positive indication by the delegation that Fiji students may also study medicine in Malaysia. This was among the restricted areas which Malaysia often reserved for their own students.
Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Mr. Savenaca Kaunisela said they were now made aware that the Malaysian Government has just set up a new body, the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) to scrutinize all foreign students’ Visa applications before the final Government approval. This new development had affected waiting time for some of Fiji’s students who have been offered scholarship to study in Malaysia.
iTaukei Affairs had offered new scholarships to 29 students in 2013. Of these, 8 students are now in Malaysia. Two students have just received their student Visa Approval Letter (VAL) and will be leaving for Malaysia next month; 13 students are still waiting for the student Visa Approval Letter; 1 student has been informed by the University that the programme she had applied for will no longer be offered; and five students are still waiting for the response of the University through a course offer letter.
Programme that the students have applied to study in Malaysia include: Telecommunication; Software Engineering; Network Computing; Mechanical Engineering; Architecture; Urban Development; and Computer Forensics; Project Management; Quantity Surveying; Civil Engineering; Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Environmental Technology; Sports Science; Global Governance; and Forestry.
Four more students sponsored by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs are in Malaysia studying Forestry; Civil Engineering; Electrical and Electronics Engineering; Graphic Design; and Plant Breeding.
Mr Kaunisela also acknowledged and expressed his appreciation for the continued collaboration, support and commitment by Mr Kabilan Muniandi, Managing Director Winning Magnitude who is leading the Malaysian Exhibition Team. He has been working closely with the Ministry of iTaukei for the last two years to access Universities networks in Malaysia on the placement of iTaukei Scholarship recipients.