CAPTION: Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, centre, is flanked by Air Pacific chairman Nalin Patel and A-G Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum following the arrival of the the first A330-200 aircraft today. Photo: MINFO.
1. FIJI WELCOMES NEW AIRCRAFT – Time stood still as Fiji’s first A330-200 taxied into Fijian soil carrying the head of state on its maiden voyage and marking a momentous occasion in the course that the national airline is charting.
2. FIJI VOLUNTEERS IN NAURU – Volunteers from Fiji have expressed their appreciation to the Fijian and Nauruan Governments through the Public Service Commission (PSC) for the opportunity to serve in the various schools in Nauru under the Fiji Volunteer Scheme (FVS).
3. MORE SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED TO STUDY IN CHINA – The Government of the People’s Republic of China through the Public Service Commission (PSC) is offering 32 new scholarships for Fijians who wish to study undergraduate, masters and doctoral degree programmes in China.
4. FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH KOREAN DELEGATION – The Fijian Government’s bid to improve education opportunities and exposure in tourism and art design will be increased with an offer from Korea’s Kyonggi University for exchange programmes.
1 FIJI WELCOMES NEW AIRCRAFT
Time stood still as Fiji’s first A330-200 taxied into Fijian soil carrying the head of state on its maiden voyage and marking a momentous occasion in the course that the national airline is charting.
A major component of the $1 billion reform planned by the Air Pacific, soon to be Fiji Airways, is the arrival “home” of the new aircraft onto Fijian soil which was greeted by hundreds who stood proudly to get the first sight of their national carrier complete with the Fijian masi design.
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, said despite the 10 hour flight, it was a special moment especially as the aircraft flew over the islands.
“Through Air Pacific and a host of both local and international partners, Fiji now owns a wide-body aircraft – for the first time since our national airline took to the sky more than sixty years ago!”
He said the wide-body plane was a strong statement that Air Pacific and Fiji was “changing our business in the sky”.
Outgoing Air Pacific managing director and chief executive officer, Mr Dave Pflieger said the aircraft was the “first plane ever designed and built from the ground up to expressly represent Fiji and the Fijian people”.
He pointed out that not only will the aircraft be a boost to Fiji’s tourism industry, Fiji’s import-export sector will also be offered a better platform to conduct business.
“With an impressive 20 per cent more cargo capacity than our old 767 and more frequent flights to cities overseas, our farmers, our fisheries and our other exporters, will all benefit from better shipping schedules and more timely delivery of products to the market place,” the outgoing MDCEO said.
More than 300 people turned up at the Air Pacific hangar for the ceremonial welcome.
2 FIJI VOLUNTEERS IN NAURU
Volunteers from Fiji have expressed their appreciation to the Fijian and Nauruan Governments through the Public Service Commission (PSC) for the opportunity to serve in the various schools in Nauru under the Fiji Volunteer Scheme (FVS).
The first batch of six volunteers, who are all retired school teachers, left Fiji for Nauru in January this year. The retired school teachers include Keni Vakamino, Kinisimere Mataitoga, Takape Volavola, Unaisi Volatabu, Taniela Laqeni and Vaciseva Daugunu.
Mr Vakamino, Mrs Mataitoga and Mr Volavola are all teaching at the Nauru Secondary School, while Mrs Volatabu is teaching at Kayser College, Mr Laqeni at the Nauru College and Ms Daugunu at the Aiwo Primary School.
Public Service Commission (PSC) permanent secretary, Parmesh Chand said the first report received from the volunteers show that they have adjusted well to the lifestyle and the people in particular their teaching environment in Nauru.
“Their report indicates that they are finding the environment very relaxing and accommodating as well. They are also aiming at gaining community support to the education needs of the children of Nauru through their involvement with the Parents and Teachers Association,” Mr Chand said.
He further said the concept of volunteering under the FVS is about nation building and participating in programs in society that will bring about civic pride and patriotism on the part of individuals who are involved.
“Individuals who are willing to offer their skills and expertise are encouraged to register with the National Employment Centre as an Unemployed Graduate Trainee Volunteer, a Senior Volunteer (Local) or a Senior Volunteer (Regional),” Mr Chand added.
3 MORE SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED TO STUDY IN CHINA
The Government of the People’s Republic of China through the Public Service Commission (PSC) is offering 32 new scholarships for Fijians who wish to study undergraduate, masters and doctoral degree programmes in China.
Five (5) awards will be provided under the Chinese Government Unilateral Scholarship Scheme and 27 will be under the Chinese Government Scholarship Scheme. These will all be administered by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
PSC permanent secretary, Parmesh Chand thanked the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the increase in the number of scholarships and called on students in Fiji to take heed and make use of this excellent opportunity to study abroad.
He stressed that while the students will be sponsored by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, PSC will also provide supplementary allowances for the 32 students.
“Air fares to and from China will only be provided for the 5 awards under the Unilateral Scheme. The air fares for the other 27 scholarship awards will be provided by the Government of Fiji,” he said.
Mr Chand added that the increase in scholarships for students to study in China is part of Government’s efforts to sending Fijian students to newer country destinations.
The disciplines in which students will be studying in China include Agriculture, Art, Economics, Education, Engineering, Law, Literature, Management, Medicine and Natural Sciences.
Those who wish to apply for Undergraduate programmes must have completed Foundation Year with ‘B’ average or Form Seven Fiji Examination marks of 280 and above and is to be under 25 years of age. Applicants for the Masters degree must hold or expect to hold by commencement date of study a first degree and be under 35 years of age. Applicants for Doctoral degree should have graduated from a Master’s degree and should be under the age of 40 years.
Application details for these scholarships can be accessed via the PSC website www.psc.gov.fj.
4 FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH KOREAN DELEGATION
The Fijian Government’s bid to improve education opportunities and exposure in tourism and art design will be increased with an offer from Korea’s Kyonggi University for exchange programmes.
The delegation met the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola to discuss areas in education in which cooperation could be established.
The delegation included Mr Park Seung, Mr Park Sang, Mr Kwon Hyuk, Mr Jung Nak, Mr Song also discussed options for training of Korean students in the English language in Fiji. They will have further deliberations with the Fiji National University (FNU) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) to pursue the proposals.
Also in Fiji is a team from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to discuss development financing for tangible programmes in Fiji.
The OPIC is a US based agency established to mobilize private capital to help address challenges in developing countries. OPIC’s proposal to Fiji will aims to address low cost housing and how a model replicated in the Maldives can be emulated in the country.
In thanking the delegation, Minister Kubuabola thanked the team and encouraged them to meet with as many counterparts in Fiji to discuss the novel ideas and proposals they have brought which will enhance the educational and socio-economic development of our people.
The delegation is in Fiji for a weeklong visit and will meet the Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of Prisons, the Vice Chancellor of the Fiji National University (FNU), Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA), Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and the Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Authority of Fiji.