LOCAL NEWS IN BRIEF
Day for the poor
INTERNATIONAL Day for Eradication of Poverty will be marked at Natewa in Cakaudrove. The three-day event from October 16-18 will carry the theme — Working together towards a world without discrimination. People in the area are being encouraged to be part of the event. They'll be helped with information from bank personnel, tertiary institutions and government departments.
FORTY investigators have completed a five-week Level II investigators' course. Investigators from the police, prisons department, FICAC and the military spent the past five weeks in an upskilling course at the Fiji Police Academy. Acting Police Commissioner Ravi Narayan said expectations by the executive management of the respective organisations would be high following the course.
TEN postgraduate study positions in New Zealand will be available next year for Fijians under the Pacific Scholarships awards. "The New Zealand Pacific scholarships not only recognise and support leadership potential, they build country to country links between New Zealand and Fiji," said NZ acting head of mission Mark Ramsden. Applications will be received until November 1.
TEACHERS serving in rural and remote schools have been praised for their work despite the adversities they face. Fiji Teachers Union president Muniappa Goundar said rural teachers should be honoured for the work they do. "I am aware of the fact that many of the teachers have spent their entire working life in the remote areas, sacrificing the so-called luxuries of towns and cities."
THERE is a need for capacity-building of forestry officers in sustainable forest management practice research. Professor Biman Prasad says Fiji has good research and extension training programs but in the last 20-25 years this has not been so. "Part of the reason we see failure in agriculture policies, forestry policies and livestock policies is because we don't have capacity for research training," he said.
New health unit
THE Social Welfare Ministry plans to establish a Reproductive Health Services Unit next year as the ministry looks to promote healthy reproductive development among youth and women. Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said the good news was that the UN Population Fund had approved a proposal that the ministry submitted for assistance to establish such a unit within the ministry next year.
PM opens talks
THE Prime Minister will open the 13th African, Caribbean and Pacific Sugar Ministerial meeting in Sigatoka today. Ministers and officials from the ACP keen on maintaining preferential access to the EU and an extension of the EU's present quota system will attend. The talks will be led by the most senior EU official to visit Fiji for seven years, Deputy Director General Marcus Cornaro.
PSC permanent secretary Parmesh Chand says the Service Excellence Awards continue to improve processes and create efficiency within government agencies. "Every year the PSC invests in the Service Excellence Awards — we have seen a definite impact of results from the awards," he said. "We have trained more than 500 evaluators using the Australian model of business excellence."