Boats for all needy schools

21 schools with about 860 stu­dents in ru­ral and mar­itime schools from Ka­davu, Macu­ata, Lau, Qamea, Lo­maiv­iti, Ya­sawa, Beqa, Malake Is­land, Rewa and Nadroga have been as­sisted

Fiji Sun - - Nation - Source: Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion Feedback: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion through an al­lo­ca­tion of $285,000 in the Na­tional Bud­get 2016/2017 will be able to fur­ther as­sist stu­dents in ru­ral and mar­itime ar­eas get ac­cess to schools from their homes.

“This year till June 30th, we have as­sisted 21 schools with a boat and en­gine, there­fore, as­sist­ing about 860 Primary and Sec­ondary stu­dents in ru­ral and mar­itime schools,” Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Ma­hen­dra Reddy said. “Th­ese in­cluded schools mostly in Ka­davu, Macu­ata, Lau, Qamea, Lo­maiv­iti, Ya­sawa, Beqa, Malake Is­land, Rewa and Nadroga.

“Through an al­lo­ca­tion of $285,000 in our 2016-2017 bud­get, we will as­sist all the other schools which face dif­fi­cul­ties in trans­porta­tion of stu­dents.

“We will as­sist all schools which need a boat and en­gine for the trans­porta­tion of stu­dents and teach­ers.” Mr Reddy said the schools needed to pro­vide de­tails of their spe­cific needs for the min­istry to pro­vide the as­sis­tance. “We are re­quest­ing the schools to come to us and pro­vide us de­tails on their needs and we will en­sure that all th­ese schools re­ceive a boat and en­gine by De­cem­ber, 2016,” said Mr Reddy. “Last Wed­nes­day, we handed over a boat and en­gine to Va­calea District School in Ka­davu. This week, we will de­liver an­other boat to Vu­tia Vil­lage School, in Rewa,” Mr Reddy said. “Our pri­or­ity is to en­sure that we as­sist all the stu­dents and teach­ers to cross rivers, ease their prob­lem of trav­el­ling from the main­land to an is­land and en­able eas­ier mode of trans­porta­tion for the stu­dents trav­el­ling along the coast from their vil­lage to the school.” He said the min­istry was con­cerned with the safety of the chil­dren and staff of the school and had also pro­vided for them. “We are also very con­cerned about the safety as­pect of our chil­dren and teach­ers, thus, we will pro­vide life jacket, flares, al­manac, torch, vmat, an­chor, chain, rowlock, sig­nalling mir­ror, shackle, rope, first aid kit, fire ex­tin­guisher, bail­ers and safety kit bags as well,” Mr Reddy said.

The al­lo­ca­tion to­wards trans­port as­sis­tance to as­sist stu­dents from poor house­holds reach their schools with­out any cost is great news for many par­ents and chil­dren, he said. “There has been an increase from $19 mil­lion to $20 mil­lion in this al­lo­ca­tion,” Mr Reddy said. “We are not only as­sist­ing Primary and sec­ondary school stu­dents but we are also pro­vid­ing bus fare vouch­ers to the Tech­ni­cal Col­lege stu­dents so that th­ese stu­dents are also able to re­alise their dreams with­out any dif­fi­cul­ties.”

Our pri­or­ity is to en­sure that we as­sist all the stu­dents and teach­ers to cross rivers, ease their prob­lem of trav­el­ling from the main­land to an is­land and en­able eas­ier mode of trans­porta­tion for the stu­dents trav­el­ling along the coast from their vil­lage to the school.

Ma­hen­dra Reddy

Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion

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