Posts tagged Telecenter

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 New Telecentre at Ba Methodist School

Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

It’s a great pleasure to be in the West today as we open yet another of the Government’s Telecentres at Ba Methodist High School. Vinaka vakalevu for your warm welcome.

Yesterday, we all shared the excitement of the arrival of the first Fiji Airways Airbus A330. These are the planes that will take Fijians to the world and bring the world to Fiji.

But what I find equally exciting is that you don’t have to travel at all these days to be connected to the world.

You can be connected right here on a computer via the Internet.  And you can broaden your horizons without leaving Ba at all.

I’m personally very proud of these Telecentres. They are a key element of my Government’s promise to provide a world of difference for ordinary Fijians. Why? Because we are providing free access for the first time to one of the great advances of the modern age.

It wasn’t long ago that computers and the Internet were only for wealthier people in our town and cities. The opportunity to benefit from the information revolution was for them, not for ordinary people.

Not anymore. My Government is bridging that divide – the digital divide. More Fijians now have access to the Internet than ever before. And every time I open another one of these facilities, hundreds more Fijians join that revolution.

As I keep saying wherever I go, I owe it to you as your Prime Minister to not only promise better services – as previously leaders did – but to provide them.

As a government, we deliver. We empower ordinary Fijians. We give you the basic things you need to improve your lives and the lives of your families.

This includes better roads, better access to electricity and water and better access to telecommunications, which is why we are all here today.

My Government has brought about a telecommunications revolution in Fiji. We liberalised the Industry and introduced genuine competition for the first time.

That is why so many Fijians now enjoy the convenience of mobile telephones and cheaper calls. And we want that revolution to continue.

Today, we’re celebrating another important step forward. We’re giving ordinary Fijians in Ba access to all aspects of the telecommunications revolution that is transforming people’s lives the world over.

From today, this Centre will provide free internet and data access for hundreds of people in the surrounding area.

It will be used by schoolchildren during school hours and by the rest of the community after hours and on weekends.

To our schoolchildren here today, I say:

Make the most of this opportunity to gain knowledge and broaden your horizons. You can immediately be part of a bigger world, a world of knowledge and of contact with people in other places.

To your Parents, I say: Encourage your children to be part of that wider world. And use this place for your own benefit. You are never too old to learn.

To Teachers:

This radically increases the number of teaching tools at your disposal. Use them to prepare our children for a life that is only as limited as their imagination.

To all of you:

This Centre will become a game changer in your daily lives. You can come here to type your CV or a letter. You can scan any document, save it on a computer and send it over the Internet without having to go to town to photocopy it. You can also get photocopies and documents printed here.

And you can get instant access – through web chat services such as Skype – to your loved ones in Fiji and overseas.

Imagine how much this means to Fijians with family members spread out all over the world.

There is someone here to help you so please don’t worry if it all sounds too hard. Like anything new, you will get used to it.

Before we started this program, Fiji lagged behind the rest of the world in accessing the latest telecommunications technology.

By the end of this year, 60-thousand more Fijians – including five thousand students – will have access to the Internet at more than 20 community Telecentres all over Fiji.

My Government is connecting Fijians to the world as part of its commitment to deliver services to ordinary people everywhere in Fiji.

They are no longer isolated, no longer starved of information. They are now empowered.

I now have the greatest pleasure in declaring the Ba Methodist High School Telecentre open.