EVER since the implementation of the Ministry of Education's transport assistance scheme, poor attendance and latecomers have become a problem of the past for Gaunavou Primary School on Naviti Island in the Yasawa Group.
Gaunavou Primary headteacher Simiti Koto says the voucher system had really helped boost the attendance of the primary school, especially since the three villages that send their children there are located quite a distance from the school.
Following the introduction of the scheme, students are now able to board their school bus, which runs twice every morning and afternoon.
Gaunavou Primary caters for the villages of Gunu, Somosomo and Nasoqo and before the voucher system, students from Somosomo have to walk miles before they reach the school.
Master Koto says, this usually takes up a lot of time and students suffer a lot.
"Before, there used to be a lot of latecomers and also the attendance was low before. Now that they have vouchers to bring them to and from their villages, it has improved a lot," Master Koto says.
Gaunavou Primary caters for students from kindergarten right up to class eight level and it has a school roll of 152 students and with six teachers.
Master Koto says with the improvement in attendance, he is already thinking about improving the school facilities.
This means upgrading the school electricity supply from relying on fuel and electrical generator to the more environmentally friendly solar power.
"One thing that is usually difficult is getting papers photocopied and its becoming more expensive for the school," he says.
Master Koto adds, he hopes with the addition of solar power he hopes to introduce computers to the school, to allow his students to be schooled in the best facilities the school can offer.
"One thing is that the technology has moved forward and I want our students to know about it before they move forward and I am hoping I can get some help with this," Master Koto says.
And like every other school in the Western Division, students from Gaunavou Primary had an extra week of school before they dispersed for the first school term holiday.