CHILDREN with disabilities now have access to vocational education at the Marist Champagnat Institute.
A statement from the Australian High Commission said the Suva-based secondary school was the only one in Fiji that specialised in teaching vocational and mainstream curriculum to children with disabilities.
"The Marist Champagnat Institute is different from other special education schools because it is a secondary school where disabled students learn side by side with non-disabled students," said principal Frances Varea.
"We have 120 students from various backgrounds, but most have started life with a significant disadvantage due to either health, social or economic factors," he said.
Australian volunteer Jodi Larke is assisting the school to assess the current abilities of all students and develop a program that meet their learning requirements.
"The Marist Champagnat Institute has much smaller class sizes than mainstream schools and this enables students to achieve their learning outcomes in a more supportive environment" says Ms Larke.
The physiotherapist is on a 12-month assignment at the Institute after being deployed by the Australian Volunteers for International Development.
The Australian High Commission said Ms Larke's work complemented Australia's commitment towards education in Fiji.
The embassy said 12 Australian volunteers were on assignment at 10 special schools in the country.
An annual $10 million provision from AusAID's Access to Quality Education Program over the next five years would help provide better education to disadvantaged children, including children with disabilities in the country.