Children of Vugalei District School,
Villagers of Naimasimasi,
Elders of the village
Ladies and Gentlemen

Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

It’s a pleasure to be with you all here in Naimasimasi in Tailevu to open the newly renovated Vugalei District School – a project that has brought modern, functional educational facilities to the deserving students of Naimasimasi.

Being here with you all today is a true joy for me, because any opportunity that I have to meet with ordinary Fijians in their communities serves as a reminder of why my Government is so committed to uplifting our people. To hear your stories, to share in your optimism for our future and to spread the benefits of our growing economy renews my drive to work as hard as I can on behalf of the Fijian people so that we can continue bringing new advancements, infrastructure and opportunities to villages just like Naimasimasi all across our islands.

It is especially wonderful for me to be here today because I have found giving our children greater educational opportunities to be the most fulfilling part of my job as Prime Minister.

I am incredibly proud of the work we have already done to boost access to education and improve the quality our education systems. That work has given Fiji’s students an unprecedented range of educational options and helped create a culture of academic excellence that will reap benefits for generations to come.

When my Government first launched the free education initiative, we did so because our vision for this country extends far beyond any one term in office or, indeed, any one generation. We did so because we believed it to be our duty to make our children better prepared for the challenges of the future– so that they are suited to build on the success we have already achieved.

The renovation of this school is a part of that same vision. It represents an investment of $253,857, and I would like to thank the Republic of Fiji Military Force Engineers Regiment for putting those funds to good use through their work in renovating this institution.

The 190 students who are served by this school will now have buildings and facilities that they can be proud to call their own.
They can attend classes, and learn and grow alongside each other with the knowledge that this Government — that their nation — cares deeply about their success and achievement. That we are prepared to invest in educational infrastructure that is worthy of their enormous potential as future leaders of this country.

This newly renovated school sends a strong message to these students. It says that they matter, that their achievements matter and their futures matter. That if they work hard, there will be a reward.

For 77 years, the Vugalei District School has served your village and helped prepare your young people for adulthood. As your school looks to next chapter, know that my Government will be there — every step of the way — to make sure that your students and your community share fully in our nation’s progress.

Fiji is on the move. Every year we are taking our country to new heights, not only by growing our economy, but by bringing more Fijians into the mainstream. We are building a foundation of prosperity for our people, and today it is a great pleasure to again extend that foundation to the people of Naimasimasi Village.

To the students of Vugalei District School, please respect this significant investment in your education. That doesn’t only mean that you should properly care these new facilities, but also study hard and learn as much as you can. If you do so, you will earn the pride of your parents, your community and your nation.

I look forward to watching your community put this newly renovated school to good use.

Vinaka Vakalevu. Thank you.