NEWS

Navuso Head Praises Steady Government Funding

“Government has been giving the college through the Ministry of Agriculture a total of $500,000 every year,” he said.
02 Apr 2019 11:36
Navuso Head Praises Steady Government Funding
Students of Navuso Agricultural Vocational Institute on April 1, 2019. Photo: Ilaitia Ravuwai

The new head of the Navuso Agricultural Vocational Institute and former Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture Uraia Waibuta has applauded the Voreqe Bainimarama led FijiFirst Government for the funding it has made to the college annually.

“Government has been giving the college through the Ministry of Agriculture a total of $500,000 every year,” he said.

In addition to this, he said, teachers were paid by the Ministry of Education.

Staff not receiving wages

He said that from December last year there had been changes in leadership and this caused a delay in their budget submission to the Ministry of Agriculture, which affected the payment of the wages to the workers.

The workers, Mr Waibuta said, were given eggs, tilapia and dalo to take  with them every week from December last year and this had stopped last week when the budgetary allocation from the Ministry of Agriculture arrived.

Now, he said, everything was back to normal for the workers.

Two workers who wanted to remain anonymous confirmed that they were given food to take home from December last year and received their first pay last week, which was backdated to December.

 

The Navuso Way

Mr Waibuta took up office last Friday and met staff to discuss the changes he wanted to implement.

He replaces Mosese Halofaki, who died early this year after only four weeks in office.

First and foremost, Mr Waibuta said, they needed a new curriculum and a team had been appointed to work on this. The first draft, he said, should be ready by the end of May. When completed he said it would be forwarded to the Fiji Higher Education Commission for approval.

Mr Waibuta said this new curriculum would be different from the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) because it would prepare students to be good farmers and be effective members of the community.

“We’re planning to call this the ‘Navuso Way’. The students will no longer further their education in other institutions, but will go straight to their homes where they have already secured a piece of land to farm. They will replace the old farmers.”

Year 4 students of students of Navuso Agricultural Vocational Institute on April 1, 2019. Photo: Ilaitia Ravuwai

Year 4 students of students of Navuso Agricultural Vocational Institute on April 1, 2019. Photo: Ilaitia Ravuwai

Year 4 students secure land

The Year 4 students, he said, had just returned from their homes and had brought with them consent letters for the land they would be using in 2020.

When they graduate in November this year the Year 4 students would be given their consent letters or Tenancy of Will Agreement and working capital.

“The Working Capital will be decided by the type of farming they’re going to be engaged in,” Mr Waibuta said.

He said currently the Year 4 students had their own farms and were selling their products every Saturday.

They had been told he said to use the money for their driving course so that they should have a driving licence when they graduated in November.

The rest of the money is deposited for their savings for 2020.

Spiritual development

Mr Waibuta said the students were also undergoing spiritual development by the college chaplain, Reverend Joeli Mawi.

The spiritual development, he said, made it different from the TVET programme.

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