NATION

Corrections, Education Give Jerome Chance For Fresh Start

Twenty-five-year-old Lo­peti Jerome is grateful to the Fiji Corrections Service and the Ministry of Education for giving him an opportunity to learn a trade. He hopes to use this new
07 Nov 2018 10:01
Corrections, Education Give Jerome Chance For Fresh Start
Lopeti Jerome at Nasinu Vocational Centre on November 6, 2018. Photo: Fonua Talei

Twenty-five-year-old Lo­peti Jerome is grateful to the Fiji Corrections Service and the Ministry of Education for giving him an opportunity to learn a trade.

He hopes to use this new trade he’s learned to earn him an in­come when he is released.

Mr Jerome is among inmates at Nasinu Vocational Centre, which was launched in an of­ficial declaration ceremony yesterday.

“This centre is a big help to me, especially for when I start my own family and I need to have a job,” Mr Jerome said.

He said the skills he has learned from the welding and fabrication workshop would be beneficial in the community that he will live in.

“We have a car at home that I used to drive, but I did not know anything about engines and this centre has enabled me to learn more about it.”

Mr Jerome is hoping to get some hands-on work experi­ence and receive his certificate before he is released so that he can further his studies at uni­versity.

Permanent Secretary for Edu­cation Alison Burchell said it was important for people to acknowledge that there was a need to keep children in the schooling system.

She said sometimes teachers needed to adapt their teaching styles to suit the needs of the student.

“In some instances where they are way ahead and they get bored we lose those chil­dren, students and we have too many students unfortunately dropping out of school,” Ms Burchell said.

“And as a result of that I am very happy with this partner­ship to ensure that we look after those children who have dropped out of school.”

She said as members of soci­ety, people needed to change the way they viewed each other so that they become more sup­portive of youths.

“At the end of the way we re­ally want more people to be employed because we do not want people to be in poverty so part of that door that edu­cation holds the key to is get­ting people out of poverty,” Ms Burchell said.

“Because if people are in pov­erty they are much more likely to get involved in criminal ac­tivities.”

She said poverty sometimes forced people to do things that they would not do in an ideal world.

FCS Commissioner Francis Kean thanked the Education Ministry and the Fiji Higher Education Commission for their support in getting the in­structors qualified in order for them to deliver.

“It is a very important train­ing. A skill for life and a skill that will hopefully, as the inten­tion behind all our rehabilita­tion programmes within the Fiji Corrections Service is, to reduce or not to make another social statistic.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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