CAPTION: Miriama Moceiwasa (middle) from Naioti Village in Yale, Kadavu seeking assistance for her village’s solar equipments from the Ministry for Women Deputy Secretary, Dr. Josefa Korovueta and Director Arieta Moceica.
1. SOLAR GRANDMOTHERS TO LIGHT UP VILLAGES – The training of rural women to become solar engineers is an icon of hope and inspiration for Fijian women to fulfill their dreams despite age and qualification.
2. TELL YOURSELF YOU ARE A WINNER: NAUPOTO – “Tell yourself you are a winner and remain positive all the time.” Those were the encouraging words of Minister for Youth and Sports, Commander Viliame Naupoto to the Mahatma Ghandi Memorial (MGM) Primary School community as he addressed their sports day this morning.
3. EDUCATION MINISTRY DELIGHTED WITH 2012 ACHIEVEMENT – The Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Mr Filipe Bole is delighted with the ministry’s achievements for 2012.
4. JAPAN GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED FOR 2014 – The Government of Japan is offering scholarships to Fiji citizens for studies in Japan from 2014.
5. STAKEHOLDERS DISCUSS ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS – Stakeholders from various government departments gathered today to formulate Strategic Action Plans to ensure all programmes and activities achieve a common goal in protecting the environment.
6. TIKINA MEETINGS BEGIN – The first round of Tikina (district) meetings in the Western Division has started with the aim of increasing participation of iTaukei villages in working towards a better Fiji for all.
7. TALANOA SESSION HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF READING – Encouraging children to read from an early age will enhance better performance in schools. This was the focus of a talanoa (dialogue) session hosted by the Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Services of Fiji with parents, elders and youths of Natoaika village in Naitasiri.
8. TRAINING AIMS TO STRENGTHEN PROTOCOL OFFICERS’ KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS IN FIJI – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation yesterday initiated a week long protocol officers’ training. This specialized training is the first of its kind for Fiji with the express goal of shoring up protocol officers’ knowledge and skills.
9. LIBRARY SERVICES DONATES TO NAITASIRI SCHOOLS – A well equipped school library will enhance the literacy skills of students.
1. SOLAR GRANDMOTHERS TO LIGHT UP VILLAGES
The training of rural women to become solar engineers is an icon of hope and inspiration for Fijian women to fulfil their dreams despite age and qualification.
This was ascertained by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni at the inauguration of the “Workshop for Fiji’s Solar Engineers and Village Solar Committees”.
Minister Luveni said the solar panels have arrived last month and the solar grandmothers will be learning skills in financial literacy and management to successfully carry the project to completion and sustainability.
The solar grandmothers will return to their villages and set up solar panels lighting up ten villages in Kadavu, Cakaudrove, Macuata, Bua, Ba, and Ra provinces.
“The grandmothers will develop individual solar installation work plans for the ten villages. The committees are made up of a group of people that the villagers identified as committed, responsible and highly respected for their leadership skills”, Dr Luveni said.
Meanwhile, Minister Luveni has also announced plans for the development of a Regional Barefoot College in Fiji which is currently in progress through cabinet approval and partnership with Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The proposed site for the Regional Barefoot College to serve the Pacific is the Naleba Youth Training Center in Macuata.
Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, Mr. Vinod Kumar highlighted that the workshop underscores the importance of adoption of solar energy and the role of women in this endeavour.
The commitment of valuable partners the UN Women, UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program, the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Network and WESTPAC contributed to the success of the project through financial assistance the transportation of the solar equipment to Fiji.
Miriama Moceiwasa (Solar engineer) of Naioti Village in Kadavu thanked the government of the day for this special project.
Ms Moceiwasa said the arrival of the long awaited solar equipment has brought hope to villages.
“We are blessed to be given the equipment and the opportunity to use the skills that we have learnt as engineers and also contribute to the livelihoods of villagers,” Ms Moceiwasa said.
2. TELL YOURSELF YOU ARE A WINNER: NAUPOTO
“Tell yourself you are a winner and remain positive all the time.”
Those were the encouraging words of Minister for Youth and Sports, Commander Viliame Naupoto to the Mahatma Ghandi Memorial (MGM) Primary School community as he addressed their sports day this morning.
The sports day was organised by MGM Primary school to end the school term in a more positive and relaxing way.
Commander Naupoto thanked the teachers for their dedication throughout the term and reminded them of the vital work they do in shaping the future of children through teaching.
Minister Naupoto also urged the parents to support children’s participation in sports whether at recreational or professional level.
“Sports will help us address non communicable diseases that is on the rise in our nation,” the Minister explained.
Minister Naupoto said the biggest evolution is sports being developed as a career path.
“In the past sports was mostly used to find national reps but now more than one third of the income our nation earns through remittance comes from sports people,” Mr Naupoto said.
Minister Naupoto reminded students to become good team players and give their best in whatever sports they participate in.
3. EDUCATION MINISTRY DELIGHTED WITH 2012 ACHIEVEMENT
The Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Mr Filipe Bole is delighted with the ministry’s achievements for 2012.
The ministry’s rating according to its achievement for 2012 is 96.86 per cent, being the highest for all government ministries.
“I sincerely thank my permanent secretary, Dr Brij Lal for all the hard work put in and the rating of 96.86 per cent is a testimony to this. I also thank my senior staff for their performance. Yes, I have always stressed hard work to them and the achievement is a reward in itself,” Mr Bole commended.
Members of the senior staff applauded the announcement as this has given them an extra boost to the work at hand.
“Being the biggest Government ministry with more than 11,000 officers and teachers to manage, I must admit that it is an enormous task.
“I give credit to all my officers in the nine education districts, the four education divisions and those at the headquarters for their determination, perseverance and tolerance. Certainly, there is no substitute to hard work,” Education Ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Brij Lal said.
The ministry’s theme for 2013 is “STEP UP” meaning education officials will not ‘rest on their laurel’ but move a notch up from 2012.
4. JAPAN GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED FOR 2014
The Government of Japan is offering scholarships to Fiji citizens for studies in Japan from 2014.
The categories of scholarships offered include Research Student category (Postgraduate), Undergraduate Student category (Degree course) and Specialized Training College Student category (Diploma Course).
For research students, applicants must have been born on and after April 2, 1979 and the fields of study must be an area where he/she will be able to study and research at Japanese universities.
In addition, applicants will have to directly contact his/her choice of University in Japan with their field of study to obtain a letter of acceptance.
The terms of scholarship may differ depending on what course each grantee takes in Japan. Applicants who wish to study Master’s or Doctorate degree course of a graduate school should sit for and pass the entrance examination given by the university concerned.
Applicants for the Undergraduate category will be able to study in the field of Social Science and Humanities and Natural Science.
Undergraduate applicants will have to be born between April 2, 1992 and April 1, 1997 and the scholarship will be tenable for five years from April 2014 including the one-year preparatory education in the Japanese language except for those majoring in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Medicine or Pharmacy whose term of scholarship is six or seven years respectively.
The Specialized Training College category is for applicants born between April 2, 1992 and April 1, 1997 and must have passed Fiji School Leaving Certificate with good results. The applicants must also be willing to study Japanese and receive education in the language. The award is tenable for three years from April 2014 including one year preparatory in the Japanese language.
Application forms can be obtained from the Embassy of Japan situated on Level 2 BSP Life Center building on Thomson Street in Suva.
It can also be accessed on the Embassy home page: http://www.fj.emb-japan.go.jp/
The deadline for the submission of applications with complete documents to the Japanese Embassy is 20 June, 2013.
5. STAKEHOLDERS DISCUSS ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS
Stakeholders from various government departments gathered today to formulate Strategic Action Plans to ensure all programmes and activities achieve a common goal in protecting the environment.
Director for Environment Jope Davetanivalu said a more coordinated and integrated approach is needed to produce a strategic plan for a national environment celebration for the upcoming World Environment Day which is in June.
“This can only be achieved through a collaborated effort, support and commitment from the different government agencies,” Mr Davetanivalu said.
He said the department has identified environmental issues that need to be addressed at the very earliest.
“This year’s theme is “Think.Eat.Save – reduce Food Print”, in recognition of contributing factors to environmental problems arising from the production and consumption of food,” Mr Davetanivalu said.
Mr Davetanivalu is optimistic the various awareness programs carried out by different stakeholders will enable the general public to minimize wastage within the process of food production and consumption.
He said Fiji has been facilitating this celebration previously as a medium of awareness raising at all levels on environmental issues and to highlight steps taken by government to address such matters.
The one day workshop which ended today also focused on the current work undertaken by government departments in conserving and protecting the environment.
6. TIKINA MEETINGS BEGIN
The first round of Tikina (district) meetings in the Western Division has started with the aim of increasing participation of iTaukei villages in working towards a better Fiji for all.
Tavua district was the first to convene this meeting yesterday however other centres will be holding similar meetings consecutively around the country.
Divisional Planning Officer Western, Luke Moroivalu said Government was always there to assist and guide those that helped themselves but the idea of handouts must be out of people’s mind.
“There’s so much resources available to us but we tend to rely only on government. This mentality needs to change,” Mr Moroivalu said.
“People must take ownership of their families, communities, tikina’s, province and the nation if we are to move forward together.”
The outcomes of the tikina meetings will be presented to the Bose ni Yasana or the Provincial meetings later in the year.
Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has already highlighted the need for every Fijian to be economically and socially active in order to see a better Fiji.
Reforms ushered through by Government will help the nation achieve sustainable economic development in particular democracy with good and just governance.
Prime Minister Bainimarama had earlier stated that people must embrace change as ‘changes’ were for the better as it would bring improvements to the service delivered by government to Fijians.
“Government is particularly interested in improving the service provided to the rural communities especially to the people in very remote areas of the country,” PM Bainimarama said.
“We need to cut the red tapes and so called bureaucracy within the government machinery and it’s time to be more efficient and effective in the way civil servants approach their duties to the people. And this government is making sure that the changes are done,” the head of government added.
7. TALANOA SESSION HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF READING
Encouraging children to read from an early age will enhance better performance in schools.
This was the focus of a talanoa (dialogue) session hosted by the Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Services of Fiji with parents, elders and youths of Natoaika village in Naitasiri.
Library Services of Fiji senior librarian Anaseini Jese highlighted the many provisions in place by the ministry to assist in the setting up of libraries in schools and villages to ensure accessibility of these services to the community.
“Firstly, we (Library Services of Fiji) provide assistance in the setting up of libraries in schools, secondly we assist in the setting up of libraries in villages and thirdly we provide training for those who want to serve in these libraries,” Ms Jese said.
Ms Jese further reminded parents and villagers on the disadvantages of children spending long hours on television and mobile phones.
“Those are two modern distractions that sometimes make children uninterested in reading but they need to know how to read if they want to succeed in education,” Ms Jese said.
The Vunivalu of Natoaika Mr. Soloveni Lebaregu commended the talanoa session.
“Your visit is indeed a useful one as our children need all the skills to be able to read and I would like to thank Library Services too for the donations of books and furniture to our school,” the chief of Natoaika village said.
Meanwhile, the next talanoa session will be held at Koroqaqa Primary School on Thursday while Nakini District School will have a similar session on Friday with people from nearby communities.
8. TRAINING AIMS TO STRENGTHEN PROTOCOL OFFICERS’ KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS IN FIJI
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation yesterday initiated a week long protocol officers’ training.
This specialized training is the first of its kind for Fiji with the express goal of shoring up protocol officers’ knowledge and skills.
The event conducted at the Nasova Police Academy is being attended by protocol officers from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Fiji Police Force, Republic of Fiji Military Forces and from various Pacific Missions based in Suva.
During the opening of the training yesterday, Fiji’s Roving Ambassador, Madam Litia Mawi, said protocol officers play a vital role in ensuring affable relations between states is maintained through international norms of courtesy and etiquette.
This is congruent with Pillar 11 of Fiji’s Roadmap to Democracy in enhancing Global integration and international relations.
“The orchestration of Pillar 11 of Fiji’s Roadmap is captured by the Foreign Ministry’s vision in the ministry’s corporate plan of 2013: “a progressive and sustainable Fiji through strengthening partnership and collaboration with all stakeholders at national, regional and international level,” Madam Mawi said.
In the course of attaining this, Madam Mawi said Fiji would be welcoming numerous visitors from the regional and international community including eminent personalities, high-level panel and international dignitaries for the purpose of meetings and consultations.
Protocol officers therefore play an important role in ensuring that these visits are excellently facilitated with guests accomplishing the purpose of their visit.
“In such protocol we can’t say to the guest of honor, please come back next week so we can serve you better.”
“In such protocol we can’t influence the weather and cancel open air events due to some raindrops.”
“In such protocol everything should work out as planned at the planned moment in some way or other without making it too obvious that things went different.”
“Even with the best professional training, sometimes things do not go right.”
Madam Mawi said this is the bitter truth that neither experienced protocol officers nor beginners could get away from.
She said both knowledge and experience is essential in this profession in order to combat the protocol challenge to “be ever ready to quickly and smoothly approach alternative solutions”.
Madam Mawi challenged all participants to switch to ‘learning mode’ if they are to absorb the most from ‘old school protocol professionals’ who are here to mould them into successful protocol officers.
The facilitation of these expert instructions is being conducted by HE Mr. Tan Keng Jin, a seasoned diplomat, former Chief of Protocol of the Republic of Singapore and currently head of Public Affairs at the Institute of South East Asian Studies.
9. LIBRARY SERVICES DONATES TO NAITASIRI SCHOOLS
A well equipped school library will enhance the literacy skills of students.
With this aim in mind, the Library Services of Fiji under the Ministry of Information has assisted two schools in Naitasiri with new library books, book shelves, tables and chairs.
According to Library Services of Fiji senior librarian Anaseini Jese, Koroqaqa Primary School in Baulevu and Natoaika Primary School in Naitasiri have been given books and furniture worth $4000.
“Library Services is always happy to assist rural schools around Fiji because it will improve children’s literacy capabilities,” Ms Jese said.
Koroqaqa Primary School headteacher, Mr Log Nadan said the donation by Library Services is a timely one.
“We are thankful for this timely donation for our library by Library Services of Fiji especially with the new books, tables and chairs as our library needs to be upgraded,” Mr Nadan said.
Library Services of Fiji is currently having a four and half day literacy camp at Koroqaqa Primary School which will end this Friday.