New Zealand High Commission Suva, Fiji

Head of Mission expresses support for education

Head of Mission presenting library books to Lautoka Muslim Primary School

Assistance to children’s education has been a big focus of New Zealand Development Assistance program in the Pacific for many years.

These were the words of New Zealand High Commission’s acting Head of Mission, Phillip Taula, during his course of visits to the Western Division recently.

Mr Phillip visited a number of schools which were assisted under the Head of Mission’s small grants funding scheme.

While officially handing over library books to Lautoka Muslim Primary School, Mr Taula expressed his huge support towards promoting education and upskilling knowledge for the betterment of students.

In November last year as a result of devastating fire, part of the school complex was completely destroyed.

School manager Mr Shaukat Ali said that New Zealand High Commission has indeed displayed a lot of respect towards the education system by awarding the library books to the disadvantaged students.

“We appreciate the contribution made by the New Zealand High Commission which will benefit the students at large and it will make an immediate difference in the life of the people concerned,” said Mr Ali.

Mr Ali said the donation will assist them in the rebuilding process of the school.

School head girl, Benazir said that they are very fortunate to get the timely assistance because the books donated are of wide range and of good quality.

“We will use the books to compile our assignments for the lessons and also enhance our reading skills,” said the head girl.

Benazir said that books are invaluable and the most important tool in the education system.

Mr Taula separately noted that in addition to the direct support given to schools and other educational assistance efforts in Fiji, the New Zealand High Commission is also pleased to be a key financial supporter to the Fiji New Zealand Education Trust.

The Trust was established in 2001 by a group of concerned Fiji and New Zealand citizens with the long term aim of breaking the poverty cycle through education.

Each year the Trust funds the school fees of deserving children.

“We’re very pleased a number of students in the Western Division who applied to the Trust have been awarded funding scholarships for 2010” Mr Taula said. “The Trust Board members each volunteer a huge amount of time each year to assess applications and process funding, and we are delighted that the funding provided by the New Zealand High Commission will pay for the school fees of 175 students in 2010.”


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