Fiji: Northern schools receive assistance

The primary schools affected by Cyclone Ami will receive an increase in tuition fee assistance, says Minister for Education, Ro Teimumu Kepa.
In a press release from the Ministry of Education today, the first payment of such funds into school accounts has been completed.

She said secondary school students will receive full tuition for the year. Forms have been sent out to schools for verification of information. Upon receipt of these, the Ministry will then proceed with other necessary action.

Ms Kepa said the assistance for the affected schools came in the wake of the devastation caused by Cyclone Ami which has left many schools in the Northern Division and in the Lau Group in drastic conditions.

However, immediately after the cyclone, the Ministry of Edcuation, in partnership with the Ministry of Regional Development and the Fiji Military Forces launched a rehabilitation programme to help all affected schools.

She said on-site inspections were conducted and after a thorough assessment, it has been decided that maintenance and rebuilding works in the Northern Division will be carried out by the Fiji Military Forces Army Engineers and the Regional Development ministry which will be responsible for schools in the Lau group.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 19th February, between the two ministries to enable rehabilitation works on schools in the Lau Group scheduled to begin on Monday, 24th February.

The total cost of all rehabilitative work is approximately $4.09 million.

"For the sake of accountability and transparency, a rehabilitative exercise of this magnitude requires thorough scrutiny. Since this is a time-consuming exercise, all stakeholders of schools have been requested to be patient and understanding towards delays," says Ms Kepa.

She said the Ministry of Education will however, ensure that there is timely delivery of services to the affected schools.