VILLAGERS of Wailevu in Labasa spent their public holiday in a special way — raising funds for their community kindergarten yesterday.
While some opted to celebrate the national holiday at picnic spots, playgrounds and visiting their families and friends, the villagers decided to embark on something worthwhile to benefit their children.
The mini bazaar was aimed at raising funds to finance and facilitate the school's daily operations.
Chief guest and Fiji National University lecturer for Secondary Education, Lautoka campus Shobhana Ram told the villagers not many youths completed higher education, saying it had been realised that parental involvement in education was important.
"Parents need to make their children eager about learning because an essential ingredient in most children's success in schools is a pristine relation of parents' roles," she said.
"A child's learning capacity starts at home and we, as parents, have an important role in moulding their minds, study habits and most importantly, support them in any educational initiative."
Wailevu Kindergarten School committee spokesman Samuela Saqabola said the school started from a humble beginning in 2002 where 45 students used the village church porch to study.
Mr Saqabola said it was that struggle that saw villagers building a house to cater for preschoolers in the village.
"Now, we have about 23 students who are learning inside a classroom-structured building," Mr Saqabola said.
"We want to pay the teacher well and also facilitate the school with other learning materials and the money collected from here will help us achieve that target. We also plan to build a media centre where children can refer to for research and school work."
He said the centre would be used by the primary, secondary school students and villagers for research work.
"The villagers are divided into four groups and they are expected to raise $250 each for the school."
The day's event featured entertainment, volleyball, sale of food items and grog session.