UAE to Fund Build­ing of New Schools

Fiji Sun - - NATION - SHEENAM CHAN­DRA Feed­back: sheenam.chan­dra@fi­jisun.com.fj

The United Arab Emi­rates Red Cres­cent is com­mit­ted to the Gov­ern­ment’s Adopt a School pro­gramme. It will build three new schools pro­gramme fol­low­ing a sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MOU) on Thurs­day.

The agree­ment sees $10.5 mil­lion com­mit­ted to the fund­ing of the schools.

The United Arab Emi­rates Red Cres­cent vis­ited Fiji in April 2017, and in­spected more than 30 schools with the view to adopt a school. Fol­low­ing this it was de­cided that the UAE Red Cres­cent would fund the con­struc­tion of three schools.

THE RE­SPEC­TIVE SITES EAR­MARKED ARE IN NABUKAVESI, SI­GA­TOKA AND LAU­TOKA.

1. Rau Simione Matan­i­to­bua Col­lege – Lobau Vil­lage in Namosi. Be­tween 2002-2003 there were nat­u­ral dis­as­ters which hit the school and the school was un­able to re­cover from this

2. Lau­toka Mis­sion Col­lege- Na­towaqa. Seven sec­ondary schools sur­round the pro­posed school with more than 5000 stu­dents.

3. Si­ga­toka Methodist Col­lege in Ku­lukulu, Si­ga­toka. Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for Econ­omy Mak­ereta Kon­rote said in­stead of the UAE gov­ern­ment in­vest­ing on re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme, it was ad­vis­able that they would build new schools.

“The Gov­ern­ment has in­vested $200 mil­lion to re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing schools that have been se­verely dam­aged post TC Win­ston,” said Ms Kon­rote.

“This is a two year pro­gramme, in the first year, the Gov­ern­ment al­lo­cated $170 mil­lion. This year we have a $90 mil­lion project.

“I want to em­pha­size on the re-build and re-view of the schools’ in­fra­struc­ture.”

Ms Kon­rote said the new schools would not only in­crease the ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, but also the qual­ity of the fa­cil­i­ties.

On be­half of UAE Saleh Ahmed Al-suwaidi said: “This will es­tab­lish a gen­uine part­ner­ship with our friends in Fiji, and from this part­ner­ship we have learned that co-op­er­a­tion is the only way to solve and over­come chal­lenges. “We be­lieve that the Gov­ern­ment em­pha­sises the im­por­tance of schools. This is im­por­tant for this gen­er­a­tion to grow and sup­port the econ­omy of the coun­try.”

In 2010, Fiji and UAE for­malised diplo­matic re­la­tions and this was an­other mile­stone event for the two coun­tries. Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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