NATION

New Boat To Benefit School

High transportation costs for students of the remote Cikobia District School in Macuata are now a thing of the past. This was possible after the school received a $19,000 fibreglass
14 Oct 2016 11:00
New Boat To Benefit School
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy (second from the left) handover boat and engine to the Cikobia District School chairman Manasa Ba at Labasa College yesterday. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU

High transportation costs for students of the remote Cikobia District School in Macuata are now a thing of the past.

This was possible after the school received a $19,000 fibreglass boat and engine on Wednesday from the Ministry of Education.

The school’s teachers had made a special request to the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy, during a recent workshop in Labasa.

The timely gift was presented by Mr Reddy to the school chairman, Manasa Ba at Labasa College.

Mr Ba said one return trip from Cikobia Island to Labasa usually costed them $1100.

“From Cikobia Island to Udu Point, the cost of a boat ride one way is $400.

“Then we have to hire a van to take us from Udu Point to Labasa Town and the cost for one way is $150. Hence, the total cost for the return is $1100,” Mr Ba said.

He explained that teachers had to be accommodated by the school when they travelled to the main island for workshops, meetings, buy school stationery or get examination papers.

This resulted in a hefty cost for the school management.

Mr Ba acknowledged Government and the Ministry for listening to their plight.

“This is the only primary school on the island, having a roll of 23 from Year One to Eight plus four teachers.

“We also have one preschool student and one pre-school teacher on the island.

“Since the school was built in 1957, we have been facing transportation problems and this is first time in our school’s history to have our own boat,” Mr Ba said.

“This kind of assistance would surely benefit the teachers and the students,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Reddy told Mr Ba to inform the students and the people on the island that they were not  forgotten.

“This Government is concerned about the unequal development in education,” Mr Reddy said.

“It is for this reason that we are now ensuring you and your children in the maritime zone to have access to such kind of resources. This boat is a symbol of journey to prosperity,” he added.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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