New Zealand High Commission Suva, Fiji

Students proud of their library collection

Trade Commissioner, Peter Lund handing over library books to the students

An updated library collection is encouraging reading skills at a junior high school on the outskirts of Seaqaqa.

The principal of Nabala Junior Secondary School, Ms Jacquelin Low, thanked the New Zealand High Commission (NZHC) for their donation of fiction and non fiction books for the school library.

The school is classified as a Rural 2 school under Ministry of Education regulations. It has a roll of 120 students but the school could not afford updated editions of reading and reference materials due to limited funds.

The majority of the students at the school come from low income families and subsistence farming background and therefore the school charges minimum fees, with little to spare for resources like library books.

As an isolated rural school, students also face challenges in carrying out research and accessing information.

NZHC assisted the school with $3,925.35 worth of reference and reading materials under its small grants scheme.

Trade Commissioner Peter Lund officially handed over the books to the school on 18 August during his recent visit to Vanua Levu and met teachers, parents and students.

Mr Lund was very impressed with the student’s enthusiasm and encouraged them to make full use of the library’s new resources.

Mrs Low informed that school has also launched a program called “Drop Everything and Read” to promote the reading skills of students.

She said this program is enforced because of the challenges many students face with learning, given that English is their second language.

English and social science teacher, Sakiusa Waqavakatoga, who is also a librarian said their library is now the most attractive building in the school.

“We can boast that our library is very resourceful, informative and reliable for our dear students,” said Mr Waqavakatoga.

Mr Waqavakatoga added that students now make the most of their library classes as it helps them do research for their assignments and explore interesting facts.

“Most students of this school have not been outside Vanua Levu and the books help them reach out to the globalised world of information,” he added.

Mr Waqavakatoga said these quality books are a key factor in motivating and inspiring students and not only them. Teachers also use these books to prepare notes for their student’s level of understanding.

Mrs Low said the books are of great value to the students and teachers as a resource to promote quality learning in the school.

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