Yabaki Appointed To Fulfill Govt’s Vision To Grow Heritage And Arts Sector
The following is the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy’s speech during the official handover of musical instruments to the Labasa Multicultural Centre yesterday.
Ladies and gentlemen, children, bula vinaka to you all. It is a pleasure to be in the North as always. The warm friendliness and of course the rich culture.
I want to thank the director Heritage Kolini Yabaki for organising this event here today but in addition to that the additional package that we are donating to this centre.
We have been for the past two-and-a-half years busy in strengthening primary and secondary education and to some extent, tertiary education.
It is my pleasure to introduce to you the new Heritage and Arts director Kolini Yabaki and under his leadership we want to see the vision of the Bainimarama Government delivered to heritage, arts and culture.
What is this vision that we have? The vision that we have is to ensure that this ideology infiltrates into the rank file.
This ideology is that we all are one, we are part of one nation and one common destiny. We are one, and we are all Fijians and a part of Fiji and the common destiny to have a stable, progressive, peaceful and secure Fiji.
That is one destiny that we all want to have, that we all want to go, and our growth plan says that we want to grow together.
It is not the Banyan Growth model, where the Banyan tree grows and all the other plants cannot grow. That is not the growth model that this Government has.
The growth vision that this Government has is to reach out to every Fijian, no matter where they are.
This is the only Prime Minister that has gone to all parts of the country.
Just on Friday, the PM crossed a small river on an old punt to reach into the isolated village right in the interior of Cakaudrove to commission their water project and their solar electrification because they matter to us.
Every household, every village in this country is ours, every children in this country is our children, this Government’s children, no one is less important than others.
It is this reason that our Heritage and Arts section is to develop the body of knowledge to spread out to the rank and file.
We are blessed and very fortunate that we are allowed to grow in a multiracial, multireligous, multicultural environment. This will allow us to be better, well-rounded citizens being able to recognise others’ beliefs, values and ability to accommodate others religious beliefs, culture and values.
It is critical for survival in a diverse environment and to do that we need to educate our children about the diversity that we have.
Our children must know and that the key dimension of Heritage and Arts is to bring into the limelight an exchange of children on what our heritage and past is by using it to bind society, to make society one.
And this is the beautiful aspect of this centre throughout Fiji. It is to reach out to the community, educate them and train them in different forms of Arts.
Ladies and gentlemen, a multicultural centre has been developed to ensure our diverse various forms of arts.
Ladies and gentlemen, visual and expressive arts teach our children to learn and appreciate and express our value systems through visual expressive arts and through the multicultural centres we have concentrated on music and dances in particular.
And we have done extremely well, relative to more developed countries, where we have got specialists and specific institute on dance, music and art etc.
With the available resources we have, we are funding these centres to assist in the development and to mould our children to understand their culture.
When our forefathers came to Fiji, it was through expressive arts that they were able to keep our communities together, they were able to find comfort and share their problems, and so a lot can be gained through using music and expressive arts to bind our country together, to express our feelings and to demonstrate our heritage and Arts and allowing us to grow together.
Our Government strongly believes that we must grow together. Everyone must grow together and it is with this reason that the honourable Prime Minister and our Government has invested heavily in education.
Amongst all small states in the Pacific, Caribbean, and the African region, no other country dedicates 20 per cent of their entire budget for education.
That demonstrates the level of commitment, this Government has in educating our children who will be our future.
I did know that a lot of bright people who are here, who missed education because they could not afford to under previous governments education policies.
But under the current Government our policies are designed in such a way to address the needs of the multitude and of every child. And for that reason, we have made education free from primary, to secondary as well as campuses or technical colleges that have been built for children who have an aptitude for technical institution.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure for me to be here, and I will be working with Mr Yabaki to look at some of the ways on how we can strengthen the link between the centre and the communities.
And to also identify and restore all the events and cultural activities throughout the year and how each centre is gearing up to ensure that we rise up in head activities in every towns on those days and involve all ethnic communities.
We need to develop our unique talents using fusion items, dance, music or other forms of expressive arts.
It is with these words that I hand over the harmonium and other musical instruments and tabla to the centre.