Analysis

Partnership Model Way To Go To Achieve Development Goals

The minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar was addressing the representatives of the Savusavu Tourism Association at Daku Resort.
15 Mar 2019 10:21
Partnership Model Way To Go To Achieve Development Goals
Students from the Waitui Cluster, comprising five schools celebrate the signing of the new memorandum of understanding for the cluster’s education partnership model.

Partnership appears to be the buzz word in many of our development discussions.

The latest reference to it was made by Cabinet Minister Premila Kumar in Savusavu on Wednesday.

The minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar was addressing the representatives of the Savusavu Tourism Association at Daku Resort.

She said a partnership between tourism operators and the Government was crucial to sustain industry development.

When she talks about Government she also means civil servants, the people who carry out Government policies.

No matter how good a Government policy or initiative is, it is ineffective if it is not properly explained to those who matter the most – the people – before it is implemented. Civil servants are entrusted with this responsibility

It is understood that some Government developments have stalled because civil servants involved have not fulfilled their responsibilities.

The partnership model should also include all the secondary industries that rely on tourism for their livelihood. They include, transport, build- ing, food, etc.

Any partnership model will only work effectively if it involves individuals, families and communities.

In the tourism sector there have been disruptions in the past because of disputes over land, access roads and resources.

All stakeholders must be included in any developmental discussions through consultations and talanoa sessions.

They are one of the most important stakeholders.

This is particularly true in health and Education.

In the rural areas, people there usually warm to face-to-face meetings with officials. If issues are clearly spelt out, they usually have little problem embracing an initiative.

For new initiatives in health a partnership approach has particular merit because it strongly emphasises active involvement and self-care actions of individuals and families to maintain health and prevent disease.

In education, a partnership model is even more important, particularly for Fijian villagers who live on a communal basis in rural areas compared to their relatives in urban centres.

The Fijian villagers are required to respect local village customary practices and honour traditional obligations because they live in the village. Those in the urban centres are usually excused.

The culture, however, can become a burden for the Fijian villagers when they are trying to focus on education.

Unless there is a clear understanding, there can be a clash of values, leading to conflict.

This can be avoided in a partnership model where all the stakeholders agree to work together to improve the standard of education.

This concept is adopted in a pilot project launched by the Waitui Cluster in Rewa. Five primary schools, Rewa District School, Vutia District School, St Joseph Primary School Naililili, Nukui District School and Burebasaga District School make up the cluster.

Last year the stakeholders signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to lift the standard of education.

The stakeholders, comprising teachers, parents, school managers, vanua elders, church leaders and students, have agreed to prioritise education.

It means they will not allow anything to stand in the way for parents to support their children’s education, especially when they are preparing for examinations.

Preliminary reports show a positive outcome. External exam results last year were better than the previous year.

They prove that the partnership model is the way to go to achieve positive outcomes.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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