ABOUT $250,000 worth of school material was funded by the founder of FIJI Water and the owner of Wakaya Island for early childhood education in the country.
David Gilmour launched Early Lingo 2014 Programme in Suva yesterday. The program will allow 60 Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers and 47 Year 1 teachers to undergo two days training from today.
Mr Gilmour said early language acquisition was one of the most important contributors to later success in academics, work and life.
"The Early Lingo Programme is one of the very best initiatives of its kind, and has been proven over many years of research and evaluation to be highly effective in preparing young people for success," he said.
"English is the international language of business and government, so it is imperative that Fiji's young people be prepared to succeed in a highly competitive and complex marketplace."
He said early lingo was the exactly the right tool for Fiji, which was why the Wakaya Charitable Trust agreed to fund its launch in Wakaya and Ovalau and were thrilled to see the expansion of the program throughout many of Fiji's primary schools.
"My goal has always been to support the establishment of the very best programs and schools for early childhood education (11 schools etc)."
Mr Gilmour said early lingo fitted perfectly within his long-standing priorities and had a very bright future in Fiji and around the world.
Interesting, effective and fun was his definition to explain the program and undoubtedly put people's minds to rest when commenting on the hindrance that this might have on Fijian culture.
"I think there is a natural instinct for a Fijian to be proud of his culture.
"Wherever I go there is a sense of pre-European history and pride and I think this integrity will be maintained," Mr Gilmour said.
"If the next generation can speak fluent English, read, and write and study in perfect English, the future is boundless for Fiji."