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Vuniwaqa: Leaders must protect those who can’t stand alone

Vuniwaqa: Leaders must protect those who can’t stand alone
From left , the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation ,Mereseini Vuniwaqa cuts the cake with officials of Sigatoka Methodist Primary School after the school's induction ceremony in Sigatoka on 9 February 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
February 11
11:00 2018

Student leaders have a responsi­bility to protect those who may not be able to stand for them­selves.

This was the message reiter­ated yesterday by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alle­viation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, while speaking at the Sigatoka Methodist Primary School prefect induction ceremony.

She also reminded them that it was their responsibility to maintain or­der and report where they didn’t have the capacity to resolve an issue to the authorities.

“Remember you must never be abu­sive, you will also have students who face great difficulties in their school work, sometimes as a result of what they face at home or in their per­sonal lives, get them help where they need,” she said.

“You are after all a representative of those who cannot ask for help, you will learn and grow within your role, the promises you make here today must be upheld because they carry forward long after the con­gratulations and handshakes have concluded.”

Across the school, the minister said there were students from various backgrounds and different ethnici­ties; some belonged to different prov­inces across the country.

“They may speak differently than others; they may act differently from each other, they may not have the same capabilities and they all come from different social statuses,” she said.

“Your main obligation as student leaders is to ensure inclusivity and non-discrimination.

“You must treat your fellow stu­dents equally and never make de­cisions based on the bias of your friendships, favoritism or likeness for anyone as this will be the key to leading with integrity and fairness.”

“One of the greatest lessons I have learnt as a leader is that leadership does not occur in isolation; it occurs and succeeds because of the people around us.”

“Leadership is not about separating or being above others, it is about con­necting and working with a diverse range of people, Ms Vuniwaqa said.

Choosing leaders among students, she said, was a great way of enhanc­ing the leadership skills for students, which developed their individual re­sponsibility and promoted independ­ence.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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