NEWS

Attorney-General Engages With Students Online

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum informed her that Government was currently “exploring the option of installing top-up machines in schools for holders of yellow cards.”
06 Mar 2019 10:00
Attorney-General Engages With Students Online
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum participating in the first online 2019/2020 National Budget Consultation session held in Suva on March 6, 2019. Photo: DEPTFO News

In the first of its kind national budget consultation, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday engaged with students on Facebook responding to their feedback and queries.

Students from around the country commented on one post on the Fijian Government Facebook page on Monday and yesterday. Yesterday from midday onwards, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum responded to a number of queries and took note of the suggestions made.

This is the first time a national budget consultation has engaged students in such a manner. More such online consultations have been planned over the coming weeks. Budget is expected to be announced by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum on June 7.

Students speak:

Labasa Sangam SKM College student Kiti Tuicakau Qalo asked if schools could be given top up machines through which students’ can get their yellow subsidised cards topped up.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum informed her that Government was currently “exploring the option of installing top-up machines in schools for holders of yellow cards.”

He also revealed that ticket vending machines will be installed across major municipalities in very near future.

Marika Toronibau of Qelewaqa, Waiqele in Labasa, asked for a bus shelter in the area. This was taken note of by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

Jasper Williams High School’s Romera Nasilasila said bus companies charge students in uniform adult fare when they travel after 5pm. To this, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum explained that bus companies cannot and should not be charging any student who is in school uniform adults fare, until 7pm.

He also clarified that on Saturdays from 5am until 7pm, students who are in uniform also travel on student fare provided for their Saturday classes.

He asked that students report such matters by calling toll free number 151.

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial School’s Calem Adrian questioned whether there was budgetary allocation for scholarships in performing arts areas.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “The performing arts make up an integral part of our cultural fabric as a nation. We see the cultivation of the performing arts and other forms of artistic expression, as vital to a holistic education. We’ll be doing more in the years ahead to support the arts, both in education and in the lives of ordinary people. Please stay tuned for updates!”

A number of students asked that iPads and laptops replace textbooks in schools. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has revealed that Government is, “through the Ministry of Education, working on converting books and other teaching and educational resources into e-books.

Once the electronic versions are available, this will be rolled out via digital platforms such as moodle applications and accessed on tablets, phones and other electronic devices.

“We are also working on getting internet connectivity throughout Fiji, so that all students will be able to access such technology. We do not want to create a further divide between urban and rural students.”

Further consultations:

March 9, 2019: In-Person Consultation Lautoka from 10am – 1pm at the Sugar Cane Growers Council Hall

March 16, 2019: In-Person Consultation Suva from 10am – 1pm at the De Vos on the Park.

Online Consultations for the General Public will hosted on 07 March 2019 from 5.00pm – 8.00pm on Facebook and you can visit the Fijian Government Facebook page for more details on the online consultation.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra


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