THE trustee of a foundation that assists poor children with scholarships at the University of Fiji has lauded the government's free education initiative.
Jerry Jeraj, founder of the Lalit Jeraj Trust, said investing in education was an investment in the future development of the country.
"What the government has done is give every kid in the country an opportunity to get one step closer to achieving their dreams by getting an education," said the 76-year-old chartered accountant.
"This will provide a pathway out of poverty for families that have been caught in its vicious cycle for generations."
Mr Jeraj, however, said the free bus fare initiative should be extended to include tertiary students of low-income families.
"Some of the students I assist live on the outskirts of Nadi and travel to the University of Fiji for classes and this costs them upwards of $30 a week.
"When you consider that they come from families that earn an average of $50 per week, it is difficult to see how they can afford this.
"One can imagine the sacrifices that are being made to ensure students get to go to school."
Mr Jeraj founded the Lalit Jeraj Trust in 2006 in memory of his late mother. The organisation, which focuses on assisting children from low-income families obtain tertiary education, has spent $194,000 and assisted 45 children.