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Fiji Time: 9:29 AM on Wednesday 17 September

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$1.3m damage to schools

Thursday, January 29, 2009

THE estimated cost of damage to schools affected by the recent flooding stands at $1.3million, says interim Education Minister Filipe Bole.

He said the ministry would distribute $469,000 to schools affected.

He said the ministry had already identified and approved sources from within its budget to pay for the damage. "With students returning to school, all head teachers and principals have been requested to conduct a survey to find out the number of students who will need exercise books, writing materials and other school stationery," Mr Bole said.

"This list is to be submitted to headquarters and the materials will be purchased immediately." Mr Bole said text books provided by the Educational Resource Centre would be distributed immediately and the payment of tuition fees into school accounts was being processed.

He said all schools should have been ready for the opening yesterday.

"From reports received, only a handful of schools that cannot be fully operational from today (yesterday) will stagger the start of the school term," he said.

Mr Bole said education district officers would closely monitor the situation in all flood-affected schools so that the needs of students and teachers are addressed in a timely manner.