CAPTION: Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation with the members of the Latchmi Women’s Club in Navua this week.
1. MSG EMINENT PERSONS GROUP CONSULTATIONS TO BEGIN – The Melanesian Spearhead Group’s Eminent Persons Group led by former Ambassador Kaliopate Tavola arrived in Fiji today to conduct national consultations with various stakeholders.
2. NEW KINDERGARTEN OPENS IN TAILEVU – The Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Pio Tikoduadua has urged parents and guardians of Matacaucau village to be conscious of their children’s educational needs.
3. PAGENT TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES IN FIJI – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Climate Change Unit will utilise the Miss World pageant as a platform to address the effects of climate change in Fiji.
4. FIJI HOSTS FIRST WORKSHOP FOR INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY – The International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) will conduct its first regional workshop for 30 participants from 12 Pacific states at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi next week.
5. STUDENT AMBASSADORS RETURN FROM WORLD FESTIVAL – A group of students from Suva Grammar School and Adi Cakobau School returned this week from Turkey after representing Fiji at the World Children’s Festival.
6. NATIONAL SEMINAR ON ICT FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING – The Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPCS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education this week held a half day National Seminar on “ICT for Education and Training”.
7. TIMELY ASSISTANCE CREATES NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN – The Latchmi Women’s Club in Navua is now in a better position to look for more incoming generating projects following a funding approval from government.
8. MINISTER APPLAUDS YOUTH FOR SUPPORT TOWARDS EDUCATION – The Minister for Youth and Sports, Viliame Naupoto recently applauded the youth of Nadovu in Wainimala for supporting education development in their community.
1 MSG EMINENT PERSONS GROUP CONSULTATIONS TO BEGIN
The Melanesian Spearhead Group’s Eminent Persons Group led by former Ambassador Kaliopate Tavola arrived in Fiji today to conduct national consultations with various stakeholders.
Other members of the group comprise distinguished and highly respected individuals from MSG countries. They include the former Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Hon Manasseh Sogovare, Hon. Joe Natuman of Vanuatu, Mr. Leonard Louma of PNG and President of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) Hon Roch Wamytan.
The main objective of this exercise is to Review the performance of the MSG for the past 25 years and formulate a Vision and a Roadmap for the next 25 years. The EPG Report is expected to be tabled at the 19th MSG Leaders Summit in June in Noumea during which the 25thAnniversary of the MSG will be celebrated.
National consultations will be underway from Monday 29 April to Friday 3 May commencing with a courtesy call to the office of the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
The Eminent Persons Group will meet with State officials, civil society, Non-Governmental organizations, academia, development partners and different interest groups during their consultations.
2 NEW KINDERGARTEN OPENS IN TAILEVU
The Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Pio Tikoduadua has urged parents and guardians of Matacaucau village to be conscious of their children’s educational needs.
Opening a new kindergarten in Matacaucau in Tailevu which was funded by the PM’s Office at a cost of $9000 this week, PS Tikoduadua pointed out that government’s educational reforms is designed to assist all Fijians.
“Government in its commitment to easing access to education and removing barriers to learning has made education affordable with the provision of free text books and bus fare assistance schemes,” Mr Tikoduadua said.
The permanent secretary also added that people must change their attitudes and mindset towards education.
“Investing in your children’s education will assist them in making sound decisions later in life and also become good citizens,” Mr Tikoduadua said.
“Having an education not only means getting white collar jobs, there are also initiatives put in place by government to encourage young people to take up farming.”
While urging parents of the school and the vanua of Matacaucau to make good use of the new kindergarten, Mr Tikoduadua said “you must work together to increase the school roll in years to come”.
Commending the assistance by government, Matacaucau’s Turaga ni koro (village headman), Sakeasi Mateituka said that the villagers were thankful for the timely assistance provided.
“I wish to thank government for listening to our humble plea of assistance in the opening of a new kindergarten classroom block,” Mateituku said.
“I can also see the delight and excitement today in the faces of our children and I am sure that these new kindergarten will go a long way in assisting with their education.”
School teacher, Rafaela Aditamana shared similar sentiments and said that she was pleased with the assistance by government as this will mean having a new classroom for her pre-schoolers.
The kindergarten has a school roll of 19.
3 PAGENT TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES IN FIJI
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Climate Change Unit will utilise the Miss World pageant as a platform to address the effects of climate change in Fiji.
The Ministry joined other stakeholders in launching Fiji’s bid for the global pageant and highlighted that government will use every avenue possible to raise awareness on the dangers of climate change to small island states.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Ruci Mafi said such initiatives will promote efforts to address climate change.
“When we look at climate change we focus on the impacts that have affected our most vulnerable communities especially those that live along the coastal areas,” she said.
All finalists will undergo training and a representative will be chosen to represent Fiji at the 63rd International finals in Indonesia.
4 FIJI HOSTS FIRST REGIONAL WORKSHOP FOR INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will conduct its first regional workshop for 30 participants from 12 Pacific states at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi next week.
Participants from Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Fiji will all converge in Nadi for this three-day workshop.
They will look at the role of nuclear science and technology in the sustainable development of the Pacific region, especially in areas such as: water and oceans; food production, protection and safety; human health and the environment.
There will also be a discussion on the post-Fukushima marine benchmark study project; nuclear security, radiation safety, including transportation/liability; illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials; and IAEA safeguards.
The meeting will provide an opportunity for Pacific states to be informed of the role of this international organisation and how states could forge partnership in areas of common interest for future cooperation.
The majority of the participants at this workshop are government officials who will interface with the IAEA and carry out the regulatory functions which would include radiation safety, illicit trafficking, and safeguards.
With 159 member states, IAEA is the world’s centre of cooperation in the nuclear field within the United Nations family and it was established in 1957. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
Fiji officially became a member of the IAEA on 8 June, 2012.
The Fiji delegation will include representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defense, National Security and Immigration, Department of Fisheries, Bio-security Authority of Fiji. Members of the private sector will include the Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association and Fiji Offshore Fisheries Association.
5 STUDENT AMBASSADORS RETURN FROM WORLD FESTIVAL
A group of students from Suva Grammar School and Adi Cakobau School returned this week from Turkey after representing Fiji at the World Children’s Festival.
“It is encouraging to note that children as young as 13 and 14 year olds are representing the country to global festivals as such. It is a good opportunity for them to be exposed to the world at large,” said the Minister for Education Filipe Bole.
“The group has taken the country to the world stage and I commend the teachers and students involved for their commitment and dedication within the short span given for preparation. It is a testimony of the quality of teachers and students we have and not forgetting the brilliant support shown by the parents. The effort put in is commended and I take my hat off to the team. The Ministry of Education is also committed towards the promotion and retention of our culture in schools. The department of the National Heritage, Culture and Arts are devising cultural programmes for implementation in our schools,” the Minister said.
Fiji was one of the 45 countries represented in this World Children’s Festival. The purpose of the festival was to allow children from around the world to learn, understand and appreciate different cultures that exist worldwide and mutually work together towards promoting world peace. The annual festival was organised by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation who paid for travelling and accommodation expenses for all participating countries.
Team Leader, Mrs Salote Nawalowalo highlighted that Fiji was one of the two countries selected to perform live as part of the documentary for the children’s programme.
She acknowledged the Ministry of Education and the parents for their support in this annual event.
6 NATIONAL SEMINAR ON ICT FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPCS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education this week held a half day National Seminar on “ICT for Education and Training”.
Held against the background of emerging global challenges on integration of ICT in teaching and learning, the seminar created a platform academics and practitioners to exchange innovative ideas that aim to create an enabling environment for students that are centered on the use of ICTs.
“I applaud CPCS being mandated to enhance in facilitating and improving the quality of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Fiji,” said Education Minister, Mr Filipe Bole.
With the theme “STEP UP” for 2013, the Ministry of Education will address the need for skilled manpower in both existing and emerging economy sectors to be able to compete globally.
The focus of the TVET section is to provide the young people with skills needed for employment, promote work ethics and sensitive learners to the importance of practical work skills and the dignity of manual labour and to help alleviate unemployment.
“The operative dialogue and commitment shared between the relevant stakeholders will move towards effective and groundbreaking use of ICT in education in Fiji”.
The key speakers for the seminar were Dr Bibhya Sharma a Senior Lecturer at USP, Mr Moape Qiolevu the Principal Systems Engineer P3MO & Compliance and Mr Vilitati Togavou Education Officer E-learning. The Director General of CPSC Mr. Mohammed Yaakub was also present at the session.
7 TIMELY ASSISTANCE CREATES NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN
The Latchmi Women’s Club in Navua is now in a better position to look for more incoming generating projects following a funding approval from government.
Comprising of only 20 women, the group approached government for assistance. Following a recent meeting with the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni it was agreed that government would provide $2000 to assist the group start a new income generating project.
Latchmi Women’s Club president Mrs Muneshwari Chand said the minister’s quick response to their request has given them a new hope.
“Our women’s group has been in existence for the last 25 years and we do screen printing, sell jams and sweets to earn money. We don’t have any permanent jobs and thus we have to depend on our husbands. We want to change this culture of dependency by becoming financially independent and do to this we have the plans to operate a wedding decoration business,” she said.
She said they can now start this business with the financial assistance from the Ministry of Women.
“We will organize social events and do decorations for weddings and religious functions in Navua. People can hire our services for price range of $50 to $100. We are grateful to the Ministry’s financial assistance of $2000 and we have also been given a sewing machine to help us in this new project. The women can now utilize their skills to earn income for their families, we are so excited and looking forward for this initiative,” she said.
Meanwhile, a separate women group in Serua Province has also been presented with 20 sewing machines from the Ministry this week.
Wainadiro Women’s Club president Mrs Askilika Roseru said the new sewing machines have given them an incentive to pursue tailoring as a source of income generating.
Minister Luveni while handing over the assistance to the Serua women’s groups reiterated that, “Empowering women will develop their income generating capabilities and add value to their roles into poverty alleviation and food security. Rural women are the heart of rural development and the ministry is maximising economic opportunities for these women to be agents of change in their families and communities.”
8 MINISTER APPLAUDS YOUTH FOR SUPPORT TOWARDS EDUCATION
The Minister for Youth and Sports, Viliame Naupoto recently applauded the youth of Nadovu in Wainimala for supporting education development in their community.
The youth of Nadovu was part of the annual school bazaar that the Minister for Youth and Sports was officiating as Chief Guest at Nailagobokala Primary School.
Minister Naupoto who had a special session with the youth thanked them for joining the parents and guardians of the Nailagobokala Primary School in this important event.
“It is very encouraging to see the youth having their own stall to support the school committee in raising fund for the school,” described Mr Naupoto.
“Your support as young people will make you gain the trust of your elders and your community as a whole,” Mr Naupoto told the youth group.
“Give all the best you can to support the good and meaningful work in your community as you have that energy being youth. You would be proud in your later days that your youth days were well utilised,” added the minister.
Minister Naupoto told them that a new sports ground worth $35,000 will be made available for Nailagobokala Primary School in Wainimala, Naitasiri and work would commence next year.