HAVE A JOLLY CHILDREN’S DAY: EDUCATION MINISTER
THE THEME FOR THE 2016 UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY IS STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN The Universal Children’s Day is dedicated to promoting the well-being, welfare and protection of the rights of the children, an objective which has also been nurtured in the
The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy, wishes all children a very happy Children’s Day.
“Our children are our greatest treasure and their being lights up our world. “Their lovely, bubbly and innocent experiences sparkles our beloved nation and the world and I wish all children in schools, at homes, in special schools/homes, in hospitals and wherever they may be, a jolly Children’s Day and pray for the Almighty’s choicest blessings upon you,” Mr Reddy said. Under the United Nations resolution of December 14, 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day. This year the Children’s Day will be observed today. The date November 20 marks the day on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989. The Convention, which is the most broadly endorsed international human rights treaty, sets necessities on children’s rights including the right to education, to health, to personal life and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence and fear, not to be discriminated, abused and ill-treated, and to have their views heard and freedom upheld. At the time of endorsement, this day served two vital interests: to inspire all children across the world of all races and religions to spend time together and appreciate and understand each other; and urge governments globally to invest and secure the welfare of children. This important component still forms the foundation of this important day today. The Universal Children’s Day is dedicated to promoting the well-being, welfare and protection of the rights of the children, an objective which has also been nurtured in the Fijian Education System. “The theme for the 2016 Universal Children’s Day: Stop Violence against Children, calls upon all to put an end to all forms of suffering, abuse, illtreatment and torture of children. “The 2016 theme is a direct solution to violence and which is to ensure there is a full stop. “We do not need to minimise or decrease elements, but uproot all causes of child suffering and ensure our children live in violence free and safe environments. “The Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts has inculcated zero tolerance to any forms of violence on children.
“This has seen us vigilantly incorporating the ‘no corporal punishment regulation’, implementing and monitoring the child protection, child behavioural policy, and instilling 100 per cent parental involvement and stakeholder collaboration to nurture the best interests of the children. “We have also injected awareness campaigns, collaborated with stakeholders such as, the Police Force, Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Health, religious leaders, community leaders and other organisations to bring about effective ways to help the child.” The Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts has also ensured that our curriculum also plays a vital role in creating awareness and enriching students on their rights, issues they can face and ways and means they can be safe.
Subjects such as, family life education, science and social science cover these aspects in detail and empowers children to be aware and take the right action where needed. “We have bolstered rights education in primary schools so that children understand their civil, personal and constitutional rights from an early age. “This will automatically shut down any doors for abuse and violence as the child will know that it is wrong and speak out against it,” Mr Reddy said. He said a vital method included in the school is “peer help”, where students were asked to create strong ties with their friends, particularly with those that seem to be in some problems.
This will then assist teachers to get information quicker which in turn will allow for quick intervention or action before any unfortunate situations occur.
“Now we have a full-fledged anti-suicide programme run in our schools to make children realise that their life is too precious,” said Mr Reddy.
“Life is too precious to be subjected to abuse and violence. No child deserves to be abused. Let us all unite to ensure that Fiji’s tomorrow’s future is free, safe and secure. “Let us ensure that no child will go through pain and suffering or have dark days in their lives because of some who do not value them.
“We all need to stand beside all children and stop any form of violence.” Government envisions a modern Fiji with growth, development, economic prosperity and peace. These plans are no doubt entwined mainly around our children as they are the future of our nation. Government has shouldered on the responsibility in collaboration with other stakeholders to keep our children safe, secure and ensure their rights are always upheld. “This undertaking is also the core principle on which our educational goals and aspirations are set. No child under any circumstances deserves to be ill-treated and the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts will ensure that children remain the priority in all aspirations,” Mr Reddy said.
The date November 20 marks the day which the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959.
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy.