Students On Day 1 Will Decrease: Akbar

An estimated 60 schools have been affected in the North.
06 Jan 2021 14:13
Students On Day 1 Will Decrease: Akbar
From left: Head of Construction Implementation Unit Mohammed Intaz Shah, Permanent Secretary for Education Anjeela Jokhan, Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Minister for Education Rosy Akbar, Vodafone Fiji Regional CEO Pradeep Lal and Vodafone Fiji Marketing Director Rajnesh Prasad after the handover $300,000 cheque in Suva on the January 5, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

The number of students anticipated to return to school on January 19th will decrease.

This is because of the number of schools damaged by Tropical Cyclone Yasa in the North.

Minister for Education Rosy Akbar made the statement yesterday at the handover of $300,000 from Vodafone Fiji to repair and rebuild at least 20 schools.

An estimated 60 schools have been affected in the North.

Ms Akbar stressed that affected families should focus on rebuilding their homes and not worry about buying uniforms, footwear and stationery when their children return to school.

Students in affected areas can attend school in casual attire.

She thanked Vodafone for their timely assistance and added that the ministry was working with the Construction Implementation Unit in the Rehabilitation Phase.

For the past two weeks, the Vodafone team led by their Regional chief executive officer, Pradeep Lal, was on the ground distributing essential food items, basic tools, hardware items and tarpaulins worth $100,000 to affected villages and communities.

The decision to channel their assistance towards the rebuilding of schools came as education was an immediate concern for thousands of students who were preparing for the new school year on January 19th.

Mr Lal said Vodafone recognises the importance of education to children’s intellectual and personal development.

“The future of many of our children hangs in the balance. We hope that our contribution together with other like-minded organisations and donor agencies will help to quickly restore and rebuild school infrastructure so our children can resume normal classes,” he said.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said many of the schools that were damaged were built by school committees using the wrong construction model resulting in some laxity in the integrity of the building and construction systems used.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they were identifying these issues keeping in mind the immediate need to get schools up and running.

Approximately $15,000 will be used to repair each of the 20 schools.

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua


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