Posts tagged Secondary School

Fijian PM Bainimarama – Opening of Telecentre at Labasa Muslim School

Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

It’s a great pleasure to be with you today in Labasa on this, the final day of my current visit to Vanua Levu.

It’s been a wonderful experience to meet so many people in the North over the past three days.

The clear message I’ve been getting, especially in my talanoa sessions, is that the people of the North agree with me when I say that service delivery – meeting their needs for basic services – is my Government’s most important task.

Better access to electricity and water, better health services and education, better roads, better access to government agencies.

To the people of the North: I hear you, loud and clear. Years of neglect by previous governments cannot be rectified overnight. But we’re working on it.

You are already seeing some of the results of that work. But there’s a lot more to be done and my Government will not rest until it IS done. Because unlike previous governments, we don’t make empty promises. We deliver. We are genuinely here to serve.

It’s been a special pleasure on this visit to meet so many of our young people, who – as we all know- are the future of our great country and who carry our hopes on their shoulders for even better days ahead.

To all of you at the Labasa Muslim School I say: Everything my Government does is designed to be in your best interests, to give you a leg up in life.

We constantly look to the future, not the past, and imagine how much greater Fiji could be if we can give our young people a better start – better health, better education, better opportunities to get good jobs – satisfying jobs and not just menial work.

And, of course, better access to knowledge and the wider world, which is why we are all here today. Because that is what my Government’s Telecentres are ultimately all about.

This is Telecentre Number 14, after the three I’ve already launched in Vanua Levu this week – at Seaqaqa Central College, Nadogo Central College, and Shri Guru Khalsa College – and the ten previously opened, which are dotted around the rest of the country. Later today, I’ll be opening the 15th in Savusavu.

By the end of my Northern tour, more than 2,000 students and many more ordinary Fijians will have gained regular, affordable access to the Internet.

But this is just the start of what I regard as one of my Government’s most important programs.

We have a vision of a smarter Fiji taking a leadership role in our region and being at the forefront of the effort to improve the lives of all Pacific peoples. And that means a smarter population, Fijians who are better educated and better informed.

Everything we do is designed to achieve that vision – whether it’s training our young people to be trades people or farmers, giving people better access to scholarships or in this instance, giving ordinary Fijians better access to information.

Our new Constitution – that passed into law at the weekend – specifically states that our young people are entitled to primary, secondary and tertiary education. You can read it for yourself – as well as all the other provisions – in the copies that I’ve brought with me to distribute here today in English, I’Taukei or Hindi

It’s an ambitious clause. But I don’t want any smart child in Fiji to be held back because his or her parents can’t afford a better education.

We all know that it’s happened in the past and unfortunately it still happens now. But Fiji can never be judged to be a fair country, let alone a smart country, if even one child is left behind. That is why we are currently reviewing our education funding programs to provide a helping hand to those Fijians who most need it.

Similarly, every Fijian deserves better access to information, and that is why these Telecentres are so important.Because we can all be smarter if we make full use of them and the opportunities they provide.

All over the world, the Internet has transformed the way people access information. You need to be able, of course, to recognise what is accurate and what isn’t. Not everything on the Internet is useful or worthwhile. But the fact remains that in seconds, almost everything known to mankind can be within your reach.

And at these Telecentres, access is free. No need to go to town anymore and pay someone at a shop or cafe to use the Internet. The Government is paying for you to have access as part of its program of service delivery to ordinary Fijians.

We want to empower you by giving you things you need to improve your lives and those of your families. And that includes access to communications and a whole range of basic rights laid out in the new Constitution – the right to earn a proper living, to get adequate food and clean water – rights that can never be taken away.

I encourage you all to take a copy with you. Read it and talk about it. Because it’s the blueprint for our future, a future in which every Fijian finally gets an equal opportunity to get on in life.

It’s also the basis on which we will hold the first genuinely democratic election in our history next year. I urge all of you who are turning 18 before that election to registered for it and have your say in the future of our country.

So the future is bright and we now all have an equal place in it. As young people, I want you to dream, to reach for the stars. Work hard at your studies. Take advantage of the opportunities you’re being given to acquire knowledge and skills. Together, we can all make a difference as we build a better Fiji for you and the generations to come.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s Speech at the Opening of Taveuni Secondary School

Ni Sa Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

Of all the many events on my current tour of the Northern Division, I’ve been especially looking forward to this – to celebrate the opening of the South Taveuni Secondary School.

Nothing is more important to me as your Prime Minister than to ensure that our young people get the head start in life that a proper education provides.

Every one of you students are the building blocks of the new Fiji we are striving to achieve – one based on equality and merit.

We want to give you the opportunity to acquire knowledge, gain new skills and prepare you for the challenges of a modern world that is much more competitive than it was when I was sitting in your place.

Just as no-one owes you a living, no-one owes Fiji a living.  We have to all work harder and be smarter, to see opportunities when they arise and seize them, as individuals and as a nation.

The role of Government is to provide you with as many opportunities as we can – not only with schools like this but with skills training after you leave school to best equip you for the workforce.

Some of you will have the ambition to go to university. Work hard to pursue that dream. We are here to help poorer students who previously couldn’t fulfil that dream with our new 2.2-million dollar Tertiary Education Loan Scheme.

I am currently looking at revamping the current loan and scholarship schemes so that any Fijian who wants a tertiary education can get one. So no Fijian student who gains university entrance will be prevented from taking up their place because they can’t afford it.

But apart from becoming teachers, doctors and a whole range of other professional roles, there are lots of other worthwhile jobs for people who don’t go on to university.

Fiji badly needs more skilled trades people, so much so that I want you all to know that I believe a plumber or an electrician is as important to the country as a doctor or any other professional.

That is why the Government has embarked on a major program with the Fiji National University to train a new generation of trades people.

The same goes for farmers, who are the backbone of our country and need better training in farming methods to achieve our vision of Fiji becoming self sufficient in food production.

I recently launched a new program – also through the Fiji National University – to train a new generation of farmers. Many of the young people in the first intake come from poor families. So it was very inspirational to see them embrace the opportunity they’d been given. Their enthusiasm proves that poverty doesn’t have to be a barrier to success.

So I urge all of you to strive to fulfil your dreams through better education and grasp the opportunities my Government is providing.

Of course, your journey is in the here and now. And I am grateful lto everyone who has had a hand in the construction and establishment of  the South Taveuni Secondary School.

The school draws its pupils from fifteen communities along the Vuna Road, including Vatuwiri, Nalovo, Kanacea, Ura Estate, Navaca, Qarawalu and Waioboa.

The feeder schools are the four Primary Institutions of Navakawau Catholic School, Vuna District, Salialevu Primary and South Taveuni. The parents of the children there will be relieved that they don’t have to travel nearly as far now for their secondary education.

For the first time, secondary education is being brought to your doorstep. So I urge all of the residents of South Taveuni  not to use the excuse of distance or isolation to avoid sending your children to high school.

 

Of course, funding for the construction for the school has come from the Ministry of Education, which is also providing $198-thousand this year for a new science laboratory.

But any school is only as good as the community around it and the support it gets from teachers, parents, local businesses and the students themselves.

To the staff here, I say: Be good role models. Fire the imaginations of your pupils. Open up a world of possibilities for them in the new Fiji and beyond our shores. Encourage them to be good citizens. Teach them well and care for them, especially the more vulnerable.

To the 171 students here, I say:  Care for each other.  Respect your teachers and listen to their advice. Make good use of the new buildings and facilities. Keep them in good order for yourselves and future generations here. Take pride in your school and strive to develop a school spirit, of teamwork and healthy competition in the classroom and on the sports field.

You can feel proud to be the pioneering students of South Taveuni Secondary School. In future years – maybe when your own children are here – you can say “I was the first” and together, we began to build a reputation for excellence.

Good schools are built gradually and that is what is happening here. At the moment, you have forms two, three and four. I urge you to work hard to achieve our aim to have level seven by 2016.

To the School Management, parents, guardians and the South Taveuni community, you should feel proud of your achievement. Because building this school is an important part of building our nation, of providing opportunities and fulfilling dreams.

We all need to work together, to be more considerate of each other as citizens, to see ourselves as equals, to treat people on their merits instead of which family they happen to come from. And we also need to be more patriotic, to take pride in being Fijian, which is what we now all are.

Once again, thank you for your efforts and your contribution to education and the nation as a whole. May God bless you all and especially the students and staff of the South Taveuni Secondary School.

I now take great pride myself in officially declaring the school open.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.