New facilities for Yacata school

Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts permanent secretary Dr Anjeela Jokhan with students of Sukanaivalu Memorial School on the Island of Yacata. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts permanent secretary Dr Anjeela Jokhan recently commissioned new facilities at the Sukanaivalu Memorial School on the Island of Yacata in the Northern Division.

Speaking at the event, Dr Jokhan expressed her sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister and Government for the strong support and assistance provided in rebuilding the school.

She said Government’s commitment to education had always had the common goal of providing “Education for All — leaving no child behind” and the successful completion of one of the Northern Division’s most remote schools was a milestone achievement in efforts to extend the benefits of affordable education to all Fijians.

“It also ensures that all children, regardless of where they live in Fiji, have a better future with the knowledge and skills they acquire in school,” Dr Jokhan added.

The new facilities include new classrooms, an ECE block, a dining hall, an ablution block, teachers’ quarters, a solar energy system and the provision of a backup generator that will enhance teaching and learning.

The school is also one of 40 recipients of the Northern Connectivity Project which has empowered the school with internet connectivity, enabling students and teachers to benefit from modern teaching resources.

The permanent secretary highlighted that the provisions for education in the various categories in the 2022/2023 budget demonstrated Government’s commitment to the education of our children.

“We are one of the few countries in the world that provides free education in its true sense from ECE to Year 13, provides free textbooks and transport assistance. For a small middle-income country, this is phenomenal support,” added Dr Jokhan.

The parents, school management and stakeholders present at the event were encouraged to join the discussion and offer support to raise educational standards in Fiji to ensure that our children truly benefit from education.

“As parents, we need to understand our children, guide them and inculcate good values in them. We all must see the development of our children as a shared responsibility between parents, teachers, communities and our elders,” stated the permanent secretary.

Dr Jokhan commended the efforts of the head of school, teachers, school management and the entire community for their relentless hard work, improvising and shouldering the challenges for five years by conducting composite classes in the village hall.

The school is named after the late Sefanaia Sukanaivalu — a Fijian military hero and the sole recipient of the Victoria Cross, the most prestigious award for gallantry in the Commonwealth.

The Yacata native sacrificed his life to save his comrades during World War II in Bougainville Solomon Islands in 1944.

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