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Editorial: Steering our children to careers that will help fill gaps in specialist areas

Editorial: Steering our children to careers that will help fill gaps in specialist areas
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with kindergarten students and teachers of Nukuloa Sanatan Dharm School’s prize giving ceremony in Ba on November 20, 2017. Photo: Kathrin Krishna Kumar
November 22
14:03 2017

The recent graduations and prize giving in schools need a lot of attention, not only for students who excel in their examinations but also those who do well in individual subjects where their talents could be recognised.

Government is encouraging students to take up science, agriculture and other subjects to fill the gaps in our systems.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has pointed out on numerous occasions the sad fact that in the 21st century, Fiji does not have its own speech therapist, cardiologist who does open heart surgery and other major specialists.

This is sad and the fact remains that had this been thought of many years ago, the people in Fiji would be better off and would have saved a lot of money in travelling overseas to get treatment.

Perhaps part of the blame could be put on parents and guardians, who continually push the children to follow career paths which lead them to the usual professions like teachers, accountants, lawyers and doctors.

Perhaps with the cream of the Year 13 students leaving high school this year, a team from Government could probably identify students who could be possible candidates to fill this void in our country.

Many students nowadays are more advanced and have achieved marks in different subjects that would never be heard of many years ago.

These students, who have been identified could then be nurtured and encouraged through tertiary education that would help them embark on specific course of studies.

In his Budget consultations with students, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum asked how many would take up speech therapy. Not a single hand was raised.

Perhaps students may see this as a boring profession but if encouraged and backed by Government to achieve this goal, then the mindset may change.

Parents play a pivotal role in making Fiji self reliant and encourage their children to begin a career path where nobody wants to go.

Attractive conditions must be provided to entice students to take up studies in the specialist areas like the Government has done in agriculture, marine biology and medicine.

If we continue to hope each year that students will take up these careers that the country lacks, then we will keep hoping into the next century.

This is the time to harness the brains leaving high school and encourage them to take up these professions.

This is the only way we will move Fiji to become self reliant and have our own people looking after all Fijians. A combination of vigorous promotion and incentives can have a positive influence on the minds of our young people. In the final analysis it’s a personal choice and preference but incentives could change them.



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