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Fiji Time: 3:20 AM on Friday 25 July

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Dropout revelation

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Thursday, April 17, 2014

STUDIES conducted by non-government organisation Rise beyond the Reef in the district of Yakete in Ba last year showed only 5 per cent of the 500-plus villagers admitted to completing their high school studies.

This is a clear indication that education needs to be stressed upon, says the NGO's executive director Janet Lotawa.

Speaking to this newspaper, Mrs Lotawa said the figures were shocking.

"Coming from rural areas, most of these people have the common mind-set that they are somehow inferior to those people living in towns and cities," she said.

"After completing their primary education in villages, people head to towns and cities where they pursue their high school studies because there are no high schools in the villages.

"Some time later they start missing home and are faced with that inferiority mind-set so they just come home without finishing their studies."

Mrs Lotawa said people living in villages needed to accept that they were not inferior to other people.

"We need to change this mind-set so that more young people from rural areas would be able to feel comfortable in different environments.

"We have identified a need for continuing education for all ages.

"We are also looking to strengthen student learning environment and bolster teacher training and continuing education resources for parents and drop-outs.

"We also want to secure service partners to provide workshops, including financial literacy and small business development."

The NGO would have capital projects completed by January 2015 and conducted trainings for teachers in the village.

"Since this started, Nalotawa District School facilities provide a learning environment that meets and exceeds the national standards for a safe and healthy learning environment.

"There has been increased engagement with external sources like visiting student groups, volunteer groups and specialists."

She said adults and drop-out youths now have increased access to at least two continued learning workshops per year in financial literacy and agriculture.


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