HUNDREDS of families in Ra's Saivou district will benefit from the first ever secondary school to be established in the area.
The newly-built St Francis College is in the process of enrolling Form Three students for the 2014 academic year.
School chairman Josefo Jone said the establishment of the school was the result of the "tireless work" of the parishioners of St Francis Xavier and the people of Navunibitu in Ra.
"We are happy to witness the fruit of our labour in the establishment of the new institution," he said.
"On Saturday, the management board acknowledged the issuing of the registration certificate form from the Ministry of Education to resume Form 3 this year 2014."
Mr Jone said the first phase of construction included the completion of three classrooms, office and administration room, boys' and girls' toilets and principal's quarters.
"The above facilities are all set to cater for two streams of Form Three with a total of between 70 and 80 students to start this year. St Francis College comes under the Roman Catholic Church as controlling authority," he said.
Mr Jone said the new school had nine feeder primary schools in the Saivou zone — Nailuva, Nalaba, Tokaimalo, Barotu Primary, Saivou District, Nawaqavesi, Madhuvani and Navititlevu and Navunibitu Catholic School.
"The management board is looking forward to continuing the development of the second phase with the quick release of the budgeting allocation for the school," he added.