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Tough Times Over For Naweni Students

Akeneta Naileleca, 14, struggled to find words to explain how she and her classmates studied in a tent after their classroom was destroyed during Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016. While
24 Jan 2018 13:17
Tough Times Over For Naweni Students
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with students of Naweni District School at Cakaudrove province on January 23, 2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Akeneta Naileleca, 14, struggled to find words to explain how she and her classmates studied in a tent after their classroom was destroyed during Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

While the teenager reminisced those tough times yesterday, tears rolled down her cheek as she witnessed Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama open four classrooms, two duplex teachers’ quarters and a library at Naweni District School

Those past and sad memories slowly disappeared as she described the hardship she endured so one day she could become a doctor.

“Seeing the Prime Minister cut the ribbon made me cry because I vividly remembered what we went through in those dark days,” Akeneta said.

“Now, I am thankful to Government for thinking of the future generation of our beloved country.

“When we were told about the construction of the new classroom, we were overjoyed. Parents as well as school children were happy.”

Year seven student, Henry Gain shared similar sentiments.

“This classroom is definitely better than the tent we were getting used to. Now we will be able to concentrate in our studies,” Henry said.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said every student deserved a chance to make a difference.

“Every student in Fiji now has access to free quality education, free text-books and Government-subsidised transportation. In fact, 97 per cent of students here in Naweni District School utilise our school transport voucher system,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“We’ve poured resources into the education of our people because we are fully committed to the success of the next generation of Fijians and we want to give them every advantage we can possibly give.”

He added: “The new buildings are constructed to a higher resilience, from the very foundation to the roof, out of materials that are built to last.

“I am building a future that will open more doors to Fiji’s young people than ever before.”

Tui Naweni, Lavisai Kabakoro said he was thankful to Government for constructing the new buildings.

“I am really happy with what this project will give the future generation of Naweni,” Mr Kabakoro said.

“The children suffered when they had to study in tents and when it collapsed they had to attend school in a classroom which catered for two classes.”

Naweni District School assistant principal, Ryan Whippy said it was a significant event and a milestone for the Tikina (district) of Naweni.

Approximately 150 students attend Naweni District School.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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