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Education Key To Getting People Out Of Poverty

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa made the comment while announcing that her ministry had been assisting underprivileged families to ensure that their children continued to have access to education.
12 Jun 2019 14:21

Editorial:

A Fijian Cabinet minister once said that, “education is the most powerful empowerment tool which can be used to bring about positive changes for our communities”.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa made the comment while announcing that her ministry had been assisting underprivileged families to ensure that their children continued to have access to education.

“Education is a basic right of all children and an essential element in preparing them for later life when they eventually complete their education and move into the workforce,” she said.

And she is right.

The best tool to eradicate poverty is to educate children to get a good job, earn good money and enjoy their day-to-day life.

A report on poverty in Fiji said: “The poor of Fiji are not necessarily the subsistence villagers, the unemployed or the lazy. Most poor households have someone in paid employment, but the jobs they have do not pay enough to keep them out of poverty.

“Many households do not have access to land and sea resources and even for those that do, subsistence does not provide a good livelihood.

“Poverty pervades all communities, Fijian, Indo-Fijian, and Others. The gap between the rich and the poor is increasing according to the report. But much could be done to improve the situation with relatively little money, especially in housing.”

Fiji has been recognised internationally for its work to eradicate poverty.

Among the key initiatives it has implemented includes ensuring access to quality education to all Fijian children.

For poverty to be eradicated in Fiji, all Fijians should make good use of Government’s initiatives.

Government’s approach is people centered. Officials go out to the people to find out first-hand what the needs are.

They found out that some of these settlements and villages have never had roads and in some places children had to walk six to seven kilometres to the main road to catch a bus.

This is why Government has really put a priority in constructing roads to reach every settlement, every village in the country.

With new roads they get out of poverty by selling their products to the market, earn money and improve their lifestyle.

Also running parallel to this is the effort to ensure that communities are provided with amenities such as clean, safe water, electricity and proper homes.

These are the types of things that ensure a level playing field for children from underprivileged backgrounds, apart from ensuring that their educational needs are taken care of.

We should be grateful to the Government of the day that it has implemented initiatives to help alleviate poverty around the country while at the same time ensuring that education remains a core ingredient in this effort.

Feedbackmaikab@fijisun.com.fj

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