FijiFirst’s motions to remove $1m funding to Pacific Polytech defeated in parliament

FijiFirst’s motions to remove $1m funding to Pacific Polytech defeated in parliament

By Rashika Kumar
Thursday 13/07/2023
Opposition MP Ketan Lal. [Image: Parliament of Fiji]

Separate motions to remove the $1 million funding to Pacific Polytechnic Limited has been defeated in parliament during the 2023-2024 national budget committee in supply.

Opposition MP Ketan Lal had moved a motion to increase the allocation by $2 million for University of Fiji which is currently getting $2.8 million.

He says $1 million can be taken away from Polytech and given to the local university.

Lal says it is important to support our students who are studying in the Western Division who are vulnerable and at the same time, create new programs for students instead of giving to new tertiary institutions like Pacific Polytechnic Limited.

He says they will be helping them in creating opportunities for more capital projects and providing better facilities for students and better lecturers.

The other motion involves increasing grants to Corpus Christi College, Fulton College, Monfort Technical Institute, Monfort Boys Town, Sangam Institute of Technology and Vivekananda Technical Centre by $100,000 each.

He says it is important that we support local institutions.

Lal says Monfort Technical, Corpus Christi and Fulton College student leaders have expressed the need for more facilities.

He says these colleges are also providing TVET education and rather than giving $1 million to Pacific Polytech Limited, these local higher education institutions can be given money and help them grow more.

Meanwhile, FijiFirst MP Jone Usamate suggested to increase the allocation to the Fiji National University by $1 million and to reduce the amount allocated to Pacific Polytechnic Limited by $1 million.

He says this is because FNU has a long record of doing technical training, has the facilities and the expertise while Pacific Polytech does not have those facilities and the kind of people needed to deliver the work needed.

He believes the best usage of $1 million is with the National Productivity Centre which has its training facilities all around Fiji.

While responding to Usamate, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says FNU is an important institution and the funding allocation is determined by the Fiji Higher Education Commission.

He says the institutions are recognized and registered by the government through the Commission.

Professor Prasad says the government has lost more that $25 million because of technical colleges set up by the previous government.

The Deputy Prime Minister says there are a number of players in technical education and we cannot rely on just one institution because we have a serious shortage in skills.

He says the employers are complaining and everybody wants competency based training.

While responding to Lal’s question on the number of programs at Pacific Polytech and if the Ministry has done an assessment on them, Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro says the assessment was done by the Fiji Higher Education Commission and the institute was registered in November last year.

He says they provide 8 programs at three campuses in Nausori, Tagitagi and Labasa and there is no duplication of programs provided by Polytechnic.

While responding to questions by Opposition MP Hem Chand, Radrodro also says that they are still in the process of transferring schools that were closed to Polytech.

Meanwhile, another motion by Lal to increase the allocation to FNU by $15 million has also been defeated.

Click here for all Budget Debate 2023-2024 Responses

Full Budget Coverage and Documents

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Being obese and not exercising and being i-Taukei men in Fiji puts you at high risk of diabetes – Dr Qereqeretabua
The General Surgeon at CWM Hospital, Doctor Timoci Qereqeretabua says from a research conducted at the CWM Hospital, they have found that i-Taukei men...
24 minutes ago
Vateitei wins second gold in Women’s V1 marathon
Team Fiji Va’a captain Elenoa Vateitei has won her second gold medal at the Pacific Games winning the Women’s V1 marathon. Vateitei secured ...
2 minutes ago

Karan not taking part in the 1,500m, his focus turns to the 3,000m and half marathon
Team Fiji’s golden boy, Yeshnil Karan will not run in the 1,500 metres event in the Pacific Games tonight. Karan will concentrate on his ...
29 minutes ago

Dreams come true for Josua Niu after winning the World GIS Day Tertiary Competition
20-year-old Nakasaleka, Kadavu man, Josua Niu's dream to have his own laptop to support his studies for a Diploma in Electrical Engineering, has come ...
1 hour ago

1,968 cases of child abuse reported in 2022
The statistics from 2022 paint a stark picture with 1,968 reported cases of child abuse and neglect in Fiji. Acting Minister for Women, Children ...
1 hour ago

Fiji Men’s team makes unbeaten run to semi finals after 5-3 win over PNG in final pool match
Team Fiji Men’s hockey side is through to the semi finals after beating PNG 5-3 in their final pool match of the 2023 Pacific Games this ...
2 hours ago
PM’s motion passed to reduce overseas travel allowances for the PM, Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of Opposition and MPs
Parliament has passed the Prime Minister’s motion to reduce the rates payable for overseas travelling allowances for the Prime Minister, Cabinet ...
8 days ago

CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan
CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay ...
14 days ago

HIV infections in Fiji increased 260% since 2010, making Fiji the second fastest-growing epidemic in the Asia Pacific region
Speaker of Parliament and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Region, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says according to the Global AIDS Monitoring Report, Fiji is in the top 5 countries of rising new HIV infections in the Asia Pacific region amongst the 15 t
18 days ago