THE knowledge acquired by many secondary school students on issues that link Fiji and New Zealand is quite astounding — and it has amazed New Zealand's High Commissioner to Fiji, Mark Ramsden.
In a moving ceremony at Mr Ramsden's residence in Suva yesterday, 25 secondary school students from 78 secondary schools in Fiji that participated in the Fiji Secondary Schools Essay Competition 2014 were awarded their prizes.
The event which enters its sixth year this year has always been organised by the New Zealand High Commission and the 320 essays received this year surprised the organisers.
"I was struck by the optimism and confidence that writers had when addressing the topic of 'Fiji — 10 years from Now'.
"I was also impressed with the innovative and creative approach shown by many of the essay writers," Mr Ramsden said.
"Students who wrote on contemporary cultural linkages between Fiji and New Zealand mined the breadth and depth of our relationship."
Participants were provided with two topics to choose from which included writing on the topic Fiji — 10 years from now or Contemporary Links in culture between Fiji and New Zealand.
"New Zealand and Fiji have a long history of friendship and co-operation, our ties are long-standing and extensive," Mr Ramsden said.
"Education linkages are a strong and vital part of this relationship."
The winners of the competition who won themselves $1000 and a plaque to be presented to their schools are Ratika Sologar of Natabua High School in Lautoka and Shawnal Kumar of Jai Narayan College in Suva.