Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Premila Kumar was the chief guest at Korovuto Primary School’s Year 8 Awards and Graduation Ceremony at the Bayview Cove Resort in Nadi on Friday.
In her address, the Education Minister stressed the importance of events such as these because they allow us to celebrate a successful year and wish the graduating students well as they move on to the next step in their education journey.
She added that the chosen theme for the event, “Pursuing Dreams and Fostering Resilience in the Face of Adversity”, was appropriate as it required determination and resilience to achieve one’s ambitions.
In addition, the Minister noted that the purpose of these awards was not just to praise the students’ achievements but to set a positive example for them.
“Other students see that it is possible to reach these notable milestones because their fellow students can. Think of it as an encouragement to work harder, to strive to stand shoulder to shoulder with your friends,” said Minister Kumar.
The Ministry of Education, together with the Fijian Government, recognises how critical primary school is in making Education more accessible and holistic and well-rounded.
The provision of the Free Education Grant, with free tuition, free textbooks, and transportation assistance, clearly shows positive impacts on student participation rates in primary schools, which remains at approximately 100%.
“Gender equity has also benefited, with girls’ participation at 48% over the past four years in primary Education and increases to 53% in secondary. Early Childhood Education participation is at an all-time high at 88% and will further improve with the review of the ECE sub-sector,” Minister Kumar added.
The Ministry is adapting its curriculum to respond to the needs of today’s learners. The newly revised Literacy and Numeracy curriculum for years 1-4 builds solid foundations for literacy and numeracy, a curriculum that engages and inspires children to become life-long learners.
“Clear, concise, and easy to use for teachers, the newly revised curriculum draws on international best practices while being developed specifically for Fiji. It incorporates the principles of gender equality, disability inclusion and social inclusion, and supports differentiated learning and ways to support students with diverse learning needs,” said Minister Kumar.
She also discussed current and future developments and improvements in the education sector, such as introducing Moral and Civic Education and psychosocial support for students by Child Protection Officers.
The Minister encouraged the graduates as they ended their primary school journey and looked forward to starting secondary school education next year.
“Next year, you take your first step towards your dreams by starting secondary school; from there, you move to tertiary learning, which will be one of the final steps in achieving your dreams.”
“Some of you will become nurses, doctors, teachers, inventors, engineers, electricians, chefs, and tourism industry workers. Each of these careers is important and holds great value in our future, and we cannot wait to see you shine as you have done so far,” said Minister Kumar.
The Minister concluded her address by reminding the graduates to be brave, bold and, most importantly, the best version of themselves as they venture into the next stage of their Education.