Better access to success

Chief guests at the TVET Free Course graduation cut into a cake prepared by the Basic Cookery graduates who completed the week-long program. Picture: AISHA AZEEMAH

More than a hundred students have completed a one-week training program delivered by the Fiji National University (FNU) to gauge their interests and abilities, and encourage the pursuit of further education for those who had thus far been left behind.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba said this initiative sends a message that every Fijian matters and deserves to have access to success.

“We cannot ignore the harsh reality that many of our fellow Fijians nationwide and worldwide are struggling, living on the fringes of society, deprived of opportunities and hope.

“It is then our moral compass and duty to extend a helping hand to all of us,” she said.

Addressing the graduates, Professor Nabobo-Baba said, “After you leave, we are all looking forward to your contributions, it’ll mean something to society.

“I know you are all contributing already in your own ways but hopefully after this week you will do even better.”

“Don’t stop here. You owe it to yourself, you’ve taken the first step, after today things can get even better,” she said.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor TVET Dr Isimeli Tagicakeverata said such programs had previously been delivered to rural areas, peri urban areas and various communities but had not been offered to street dwellers and underprivileged residents in urban cities.

“We’ve unfortunately continued to miss this particular group that’s been right there in front of us,” Dr Tagicakeverata said, “the people in informal settlements, street dwellers”.

“And I’m glad that this is one opportunity that FNU is really engaging with for this marginalised group in our community. So, we’re very happy to and we will take this a long way,” he said.

According to Dr Tagicakeverata the university will help participants find pathways to further studies, “even to the extent of finding them scholarships.

“That’s our commitment,” he said.

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