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Fiji Time: 8:56 AM on Monday 21 April

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Dropout reduction

Salaseini Moceiwai
Friday, February 08, 2013

THE Access to Quality Education Program aims to reduce the rate of school dropouts in the country.

Funded by AusAID and administered by a global development firm in Australia GRM International, the program allocated a grant of $93million to assist under resourced primary schools in the country.

The program which was initiated last year has benefitted 24 schools in Fiji and aimed to assist another 50 this year.

The program's senior school community co-ordinator Jone Naisau said schools were identified through students who came from poor background.

"The schools will prepare a plan and budget and once we approve it after thorough assessment, the management will receive funding assistance from us as part of the grant," Mr Naisau said.

"Such assistance can help them renovate their classrooms, toilets, buy sports equipment and other necessary items that will enhance the learning capabilities of students."

Mr Naisau said the program wanted all students to learn in a well-facilitated environment so school dropout was not an excuse.

"Too often, students are faced with problems such as no food, shoes or bus fare and this makes them miss school.

"At least, the grant will allow schools to look into assisting students with their lunch, bus fares and even raincoats so students don't have any excuse of being absent from school."

Mr Naisau said another 50 schools would be part of the program next year.