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Editorial: Education Policies Based On Modern Thinking

Editorial: Education Policies Based On Modern Thinking
June 30
16:33 2018

For our country to modernise, bold and modern policies are needed.

We saw such policies announced in Parliament during the 2018-2019 National Budget by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

20 years ago, we would not have imagined a Fiji where mothers from low income households getting money to help after the birth of their child.

We would not have imagined Education receiving a $1billion budgetary allocation.

Only because we did not have the leadership to make it happen. A major part of the budget also focusses on capacity building.

It focusses on providing opportunities for our civil servants, for our teachers and also for people in the private sector to get further training, to further their qualification.

It is also focussing on human resource development through providing scholarships to our teachers and also to non-teaching civil servants.

The Government has offered 35 scholarship awards for non-teacher civil servants.

Of those:

ν 20 scholarships will be awarded to civil servants for post graduate study locally in the areas of teacher training, tourism, agriculture, fisheries and forestry;

ν 10 scholarships will be awarded to pursue a postgraduate diploma or Master’s degree overseas, based on strategic areas of study identified by the civil service and five scholarships will be awarded for civil servants to pursue a PhD programme.

For teachers:

ν 50 full-time academic scholarships that are open exclusively to Fijian teachers.

ν 30 of those scholarships are available to teachers who already hold a diploma and who want to upgrade to a bachelor’s degree in maths, physics, English language and literature, Information Technology, industrial arts, special education and Early Childhood Education; and

ν 320 scholarships will be available to teachers who hold a degree and who want to upgrade to a post graduate degree – including PhD programmes – in maths, physics and English language and literature.

The Government recognises that there is a serious lack of specialist teachers in the country. We need teachers with advanced skills in areas that are critical in a modern economy, we want Fijian teachers to receive those qualifications, better themselves, and, ultimately, better the education they provide our young people.

This is the modern way of thinking.

This is what will take Fiji forward.

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