IN a few days we will greet a new year.
As always, there will be the usual celebrations which are part and parcel of life during this time of the year.
Those in positions of authority right throughout the country, from the basic social unit, the family, right up the various levels of leadership in the vanua, church and government, have sounded words of advice.
Celebrate but at the same time be careful. The year 2013 and all that it offered will soon be the year that was and we will have to contend with the challenges posed by 2014. Such is the cycle and rhythm of life.
New year celebrations will soon be tuned down as workers who have been on leave return to the office. In rural areas, farmers will once more take up again their implements and return to the fields.
In another sphere of life, schoolchildren will in the not-too-distant future be reminding their parents of their school needs for 2014. Some may already be doing so.
As the board responsible for allocating part of government's substantial contribution to education was named on Boxing Day, it has come up with a new way for deciding who is to receive government help.
For the first time, in as far as that it has been explicitly stated, Fiji's human resource needs will be a key consideration. The move we are told is part of government's strategy to have a smart nation, one which is knowledge-based.
Government, however, cannot do it alone. Every one, simply put that is you and I, is to pay their part.
Parents and guardians, at least those wishing to qualify for the State's help, are to play an ever increasing significant role in helping shape their children's and Fiji's future.
The labour market and its trends, especially those related to needs and mobility, are to be carefully analysed and the information relayed to children. Doubtless, parents and guardians will need help with this.
Children also must be told that just going to school and passing exams or set tasks will not be enough in terms of long-term goals. They must identify what it is they will want to do with their lives, specifically the education they are receiving, and work accordingly.
A challenge it certainly is, insurmountable it definitely isn't, if we with characteristic Fijian resolve work towards improving ourselves and country.