Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says the Fijian Government is committed to revising its learning programmes; bringing new resources to bear to develop an expanded range of programs that build skills and competencies suited to a modern economy.
While speaking at the three-day "Transforming Education Summit", Bainimarama said that Fiji had embarked on an education revolution a decade ago, through sweeping policies and concerted investments to improve the access and quality of education in the country.
The Prime Minister was virtually addressing leaders, think tanks, and key stakeholders at the Summit which is being convened in response to a global crisis in education on the margins of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
He says Fiji is committed to transforming its education system and revolutionise learning for the benefit of all Fijian children.
Bainimarama also called for cohesive support from the UN system for deeper and broader engagement with our development partners, and faster and greater access to concessional finance.
He says Fiji's commitments to transforming education include a revolution in digitisation of education; a greater focus on problem-solving and on building the skills and competencies needed for a modern knowledge-based society. Bainimarama told the UN that the introduction of free education has had a far-reaching impact on bridging the learning divide among rural, maritime, and urban children.
He says the Fijian Government has also provided free textbooks and subsidized travel to school for low-income students.
He says Fiji has since achieved universal access to primary education for every child of every gender and also, billions of dollars in new funding has been provided to higher education through loans and scholarships.
Bainimarama says year-on-year, around 18 percent of Fiji’s national budget goes directly towards education, every dollar of which invests in a more united, knowledgeable, prosperous, and sustainable Fiji.
He says the dividends are paying off: The generation empowered by free education is now entering the workforce and helping to lead Fiji’s double-digit economic growth out of the pandemic. The Prime Minister adds that the Fijian Government is committed to rebuilding every school to withstand the realities of a warmer and more dangerous world, having redesigned each structure to be cyclone resistant.
He says they are committed to a safe learning environment for every child through continued efforts to build climate resilience, zero tolerance to discrimination and violence, and increasing resources to support vulnerable children who may face violence at home or in their communities.
Bainimarama says they commit to deepening the partnerships that make this all possible; partnerships with teachers, institutions, think tanks, the private sector, and governments.
United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said in opening the Summit that the education system nowadays simply doesn't make the grade.
For this, he urged world leaders to come up with solutions and necessary support to ensure everyone can learn, thrive and dream throughout their lives.
The Summit provides an opportunity to elevate education to the top of the global political agenda and to mobilize action, ambition, solidarity, and solutions to recover pandemic-related learning losses and sow the seeds to transform education in a rapidly changing world.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations