NEWS

Education Still Ranks High On PM’s Agenda Even In The Cuban Capital

He encouraged them to be strong and to overcome their personal challenges to get qualified and return to Fiji to help strengthen the medical service.
04 Oct 2019 14:15
Education Still Ranks High On PM’s Agenda Even In The Cuban Capital
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in a classic convertible car in Havana, Cuba. Photo: PM’s Office

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was at home with Fijian medical students in the Cuban capital, Havana, yesterday.

He hosted lunch and held a talanoa session for them.

The students shared the challenges they go through in Cuba. Mr Bainimarama listened intently and said he would do whatever was possible to help.

He encouraged them to be strong and to overcome their personal challenges to get qualified and return to Fiji to help strengthen the medical service.

His interest in the welfare of the Fijian students in Cuba is not an isolated event.

It is consistent with his position on education.

Just last month, Mr Bainimarama talked about education as his most favourite subject.

‘Right to education’

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during his visit to a local Havana school. Photo: PM’s Office

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during his visit to a local Havana school. Photo: PM’s Office

He said in his Constitution Day message to the nation that chapter two Section 31 of the 2013 Constitution: “The right to education” was his most favourite part.

“You have to be a parent to fully appreciate how the right of every Fijian to early childhood
education, primary and secondary education and further education has put dreams within reach for our people,” he said

When he was growing up, so many families had to sacrifice the education of their children because of the financial burden of school fees, the price of textbooks and the costs of transporting their children to school, he said.

But in realising the right to education mandated by our Constitution, he said his Government had made education free.

“We have made textbooks free, we are subsidising the cost of transporting children to school, we have vastly expanded access to early childhood education and we have given unprecedented funding to tertiary loans and scholarships to empower more of our people to achieve their ambitions of higher education.”
Students accessing new opportunities

He said the best part of his job as Prime Minister was opening and upgrading schools, talking with students and seeing them access new opportunities.

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Mr Bainimarama said in the eyes and aspirations of those young people, he saw the future of the country.

Their work to realise the right to education, he said ensured that the coming years held incredible promise for the nation and the people.

Mr Bainimarama enjoyed his time with the students as his body language showed.

The students encompass everything he has said about the importance of education.

He visited a local school yesterday, entered a classroom and engaged with the students.

 

Outside on the streets, he met more students and chatted with them in the full glare of the television and newspaper cameras. He was followed by the media.

A man on the street, a museum staff,  had recognised Mr Bainimarama in the television news and sat down with him for a chat. Mr Bainimarama said later he had invited him to visit Fiji.

But the length of time he spent with the students makes one thing very clear – that education is still high on his agenda even in Havana.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedbacknemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



Five square Da Bang Sale


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