2022 General Election: Student hopes her vote will improve daily struggles

Grace Beitaki (left) holds her voter registration card with school mate Apisalomi Gonesau after casting their votes at Natokalau Village, Kadavu. Picture: Arieta Vakasukasaqa

GRACE Beitaki, the youngest voter in Natokalau Village, Kadavu, cast her ballot with only one thing on her mind – the daily struggles faced by students in maritime schools.

The 18-year-old student said she hoped her vote would help bring about change.

“There are a lot of challenges faced by students here in my village,” she said.

“We don’t have the privileges the students in urban schools have, they can easily access transport, et cetera.

“They get on a bus and get dropped off at their schools.

“But for us here, we have to walk to school using an old footbridge to cross through mangrove swamps.

“When it rains or during high tide, we have to use the road, walking barefoot to school.”

Ms Beitaki said infrastructure in maritime schools also needed improvement.

“We need new teachers’ quarters and other school infrastructure needs to be improved.

“I just hope that any government that comes in will assist students in maritime areas like Kadavu.”

She thanked her parents for sharing with her the importance of voting this year.

“Today (yesterday) I went with my parents to vote and I am glad that I was able to do it.”

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