Prime Minister at Corpus Christi Graduation11/14/2013

Dedicating almost a fifth of the entire national budget to education demonstrate Government’s seriousness towards making Fiji a nation led by bright and young individuals.

And for this, Prime Minister Josaia Bainimarama was congratulated by head of Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong in the move towards availing primary and secondary education to all for free.

Speaking at the Corpus Christi Teachers’ College graduation, the Prime Minister told the graduating teachers that the education budget was the best investment “we can make to fulfil my Government’s vision of Fiji as a clever country, a nation peopled by those with fine minds and fine skills”.

“Any nation that is willing to invest almost a fifth of its national budget in education is a nation that takes education seriously. No Fijian child is going to be left behind,” the head of Government said.

“Poverty will no longer be a barrier to education.”

The archbishop said this was important to the church because education has been an integral part of the church’s mission from the early days.

Two of the 34 graduates of Corpus Christi Teachers’ College, who will soon join the ranks of the rest of the teaching fraternity, said they were happy with the move to make primary and secondary education free.

For 22 year old Lavina Reddy of Labasa the happiness she feels for her future students is tinged with a bit of sadness.

“When I heard the Prime Minister speaking today on free education I had tears in my eyes because I remembered how hard my parents worked to send me to school especially since they are farmers,” she said.

“I just wished the Government’s in the past had the foresight to do that but I am happy that parents will no longer struggle.”

Another inspired youth, Amenatave Rokodave from Naitasiri believes that there should be no school dropouts now, which was prominent in the past.

The proud teacher said he was happy that the profession he has entered will help the nation by educating young people who lead the nation in the future.

The 2014 budget has allocated $541.5m to education and Corpus Christi, which is managed by the Church, has received a grant of $150,000.