Villagers Thank Govt for Students’ Aid

Villagers receive $13,500 worth of boat, outboard engine for village school   Vutia villagers have praised the Bainimarama Government for its commitment to help rural schools. The village saw the
15 Jul 2016 09:46
Villagers Thank Govt for Students’ Aid
Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy (third from right) with Vutia villagers and ministry staff onboard the new school boat yesterday . Photo: Ministry of Education

Villagers receive $13,500 worth of boat, outboard engine for village school


Vutia villagers have praised the Bainimarama Government for its commitment to help rural schools.

The village saw the delivery yesterday of a new $13,500 boat and outboard motor for Vutia District School in Rewa.

School manager Lanieta Tubuna said: “When they visited the school in February Education Minister Mahendra Reddy said yes to a request for a boat and engine to transport students.

“He has kept that promise and today we see our new boat and engine. We know that this Government delivers on its promise to help rural schools.”

The gift brings to $58,400 the total value of school projects financed by the Ministry of Education so far this year.

The projects include: School toilet block, $17,000; School dining hall, $20,000; Roofing maintenance $5000; 20 wooden desks and chairs $2100; and a chainsaw worth $800.

“We are extremely grateful to Mr Reddy and Mr Bainimarama for their integrity and commitment to helping us,” Ms Tubuna said.

“We know that we are not forgotten.”

Speaking on behalf of the vanua, Atunaisa Baleiwai, a retired police officer, said Vutia treasured the Government assistance.

Mr Baleiwai said it reflected on the Government’s commitment to education.

Head teacher Nimiroti Gumatua thanked the Government for the assistance. He said the assistance would help the children’s education.

The villagers performed the traditional ceremony of “cere” to welcome the new boat draped in multi-coloured material and provided entertainment by students after the formalities.

It involved the blowing of the conch shell by a villager who ran in front heralding the official party to the school playground. There Mr Reddy received a tabua (whale’s tooth) and sasa (broom) and virgin coconut oil.

Mr Reddy told the villagers in his address that he had told Mr Bainimarama about the assistance. He said the PM told him to take other items like books and desks. He said Mr Bainimarama wanted all rural schools to be upgraded to the same standard as urban schools.

Mr Reddy said the PM’s vision was to give all children equal opportunities in education in line with the FijiFirst Government policy of an educated and smart Fiji.

He said “we are not an armchair” government where they sat in their office in Suva and ran things from there. He said they took development to the people. He said Vutia was one of the many rural schools they had visited and they would continue to visit more. He said they had been to the Yasawas, Kadavu, Lomaiviti and other maritime schools. He said they had also been to the interior of the main islands.

He said next week Mr Bainimarama would open two campuses bringing to 12 the number of technical colleges in the country.

He told the villagers that one technical college would be in Nausori to cater for students in the Rewa delta.

He said technical colleges were designed to ensure that no one was left behind in education.

He said not everyone would be doctors, teachers or academics.

He said technical colleges would provide certificate training for trade qualifications.

Mr Reddy and his group of education officials which included Permanent Secretary Iowane Tiko.

Ms Tubuna said: “This is a memorable day. We thank the Government for its generosity.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika



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