ABOUT 39,000 students in 162 schools in Fiji have benefited from the Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP) since its inception in 2011.
The program, funded by the Australian Government, offers assistance to primary school committees and communities to improve the ability of the poorest students, including those with disabilities to attend school and stay in school.
AQEP team leader Dr Priscilla Puamau said the program offers three components — social protection, infrastructure and flexible support — for the Ministry of Education strategic priorities.
"Attendance at school is a key indicator that we are working on improving and also renovating school classrooms," Dr Puamau said.
"We also help in sanitation, hygiene and water — ensuring that those aspects are improved on."
Dr Puamau said in the three years of the program, they had identified several barriers that prevented children from attending school.