NEWS

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama Makes Decades-Long Dream Come True For Village

Teachers and young students finally get kindergarten classroom after going without one since 1982
13 Aug 2020 10:08
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama Makes Decades-Long Dream Come True For Village
From left- Minister for Health Dr. Iferemi Waqainabete, Minister for Education Rosy Akbar and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Suvavou Kindergarten students after the opening on August 12, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

I can now die in peace because my dreams have finally come true.

Seventy-eight-year-old Kelera Tuifagalele said this, after seeing her long-term goal of having a kindergarten for Suvavou Village, Lami, finally come true.

The retired school teacher said since 1982, kindergarten students in the village had to be shifted from one home to another for their classes because there was no classroom to accommodate them.

In 2002, classes were shifted to the Village Hall and this had always been an issue with teachers and students studies.

“Whenever there was a village meeting, wedding or funeral, classes had to be cancelled because villagers had to use the hall,” she said.

PM to the rescue

It wasn’t until 2018, at the opening of the Tikaram Park in Lami, Mrs Tuifagalele made an impassioned plea for a proper Suvavou Kindergarten classroom and equipment during a Talanoa Session with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

The Prime Minister promised her that the Government would build the first classroom block and provide the village with its equipment.

Yesterday, that promise was fulfilled when Mr Bainimarama commissioned the newly built $150,000 Suvavou Kindergarten at the village.

Mrs Tuifagalele said: “We have a new classroom that students will learn from and nothing will distract their studies.”

Investment towards education

Mr Bainimarama said the FijiFirst Government had always believed that investment towards education were the best investments they continue to make.

“My ministers and I would fork out our entire salaries on top of the pay cuts we’ve already taken, just so we never see free education go away,” he said.

“Our international tourism market is virtually paralysed, and that has meant Government revenues have taken a big hit. Regardless, our funding towards free education has continued, meaning no family in Fiji will have to pay school fees.

“Today, we celebrate that promise delivered in the form of a $150,000 new school building, along with new desks, chairs and classroom equipment, all of which your students can proudly call their own.”

Mrs Tuifagalele show her gratitude towards the Prime Minister when she said: “Thank you for not failing us and for keeping your words. You’re indeed a family man.”

Teachers grateful

Veniana Mudunavosa, a school teacher at the school for the past 20 years, said they would now breathe a sigh of relief as classes for all its 32 kindergarten students would no longer have its usual problems.

“We are so grateful to the Government, to Prime Minister Bainimarama for making all this possible,” Ms Mudunavosa said.

“The students love their new learning environment and I know for a fact that great sons and daughters of Fiji will be products of this lifelong investment.”  Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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