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Editorial : 2019 Will Kick-In New Government Policies

In less than three days time we will bid goodbye to 2018. We will welcome 2019 when new government policies will kick-in. Top of the list will be the enforcement
29 Dec 2018 11:25
Editorial : 2019 Will Kick-In New Government Policies

In less than three days time we will bid goodbye to 2018. We will welcome 2019 when new government policies will kick-in.

Top of the list will be the enforcement of the Online Safety Act. This law is designed to safeguard Fijians, particularly children from online bullying.

It is also to ensure social media does not become a free for all platform to defame Fijians and that people are taken to task.

Other policies that will kick-in on January 1st are the increase in paid maternity leave from 84 to 98 working days.

An additional two weeks has been added for mothers to take-off from work in the preparation for the birth and in the care of their children.

And for the first time, Government introduced a paid five-day paternity leave for fathers. That leave can be tak­en three months before or three months after the birth of his child.

Another first for Fiji will be the five-day family care leave. This is the fully paid five-day Family Care Leave that all employees can utilise each year.

So if you need to take your child to the doctor, if your child gets sick at school, if someone you love, such as a parent, is in need of help, or you have any other sort of family emergency, you can use these days to be there for your family.

In education, a new approach is being taken for instill­ing of good values, instilling values – family values – like respect, tolerance, discipline, teamwork, nation-building and sense of civic duty.

That’s why Government is bringing the scouts pro­gramme to the Fijian education system. Working with the Fiji Scouts Association, of which the Fijian Presi­dent is a patron, to bring scout programmes for girls and boys – for the first time – into secondary schools and new high schools.

This is going to bring leadership opportunities to cam­puses in the development of our young people.

That’s going to build a spirit of teamwork on campuses and help build communities among our students; home away from home that brings the same structure, stability and security of a family environment.

And schools that already have cadet training can offer both of these programmes to their students.

Government is working with the Fiji Scout Association to bring this programme online from Term 1 of 2019.

And in the meantime, they will begin training teachers to roll out this programme.

Government is also going to extend the reach of the Ac­cident Compensation Commission Fiji to cover school-yard injuries so that the families of students hurt at school can benefit from a no-fault payment scheme that can go towards the cost of their recovery.

This is also going to paint a very clear picture of which schools have serious problems with abuse on school property and need special attention.

Ten years ago, people did not think such policies could be introduced in Fiji.

But it has and many others have kickstarted the path­way to a modern nation state.

This is what the focus of FijiFirst had to be, they need to continue with their focus on the policies which will benefit all Fijians, across the nation.

Everything else will fall into place after that.

JYOTI PRATIBHA

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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