The Office of the Prime Minister has been part of the Ministry of Education Careers expo since 2011 and has teamed up with their Careers Department on numerous expos outside urban areas.
This year OPM was part of the last of the 2016 Careers Expo held at Rotuma High School, Malhaha, Rotuma from July 19th to 22nd.
The theme: ‘Channeling every child to a career’ not only concentrated on job opportunities but also through their skills and income generating opportunities.
The 13 exhibitors included majority of the tertiary institutions like the University of the South Pacific, Fiji National University and the University of Fiji. Ministry of Education was represented by the National Substance Abuse Unit, Teacher Registration and Eastern teachers’ coordinator.
Others included Service Pro, National Fire Authority, Fiji Museum, Fiji National Provident Fund, Telecom Fiji and Life Insurance of India; Government agencies like the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Like previous CE outside urban centers, the programme also facilitated talanoa sessions with teachers, parents and guardians.
For Rotuma there were sessions for Malhaha Primary, Motusa Primary, Christ the King Primary and Paptea Primary schools.
With a total of 150 students visiting our booth, Team OPM was also part of meetings with parents and guardians. OPM used the opportunity to clarify information regarding the new initiatives of Government.
Gagaj Maraf Rotuma spoke of his dream and challenged fellow islanders to setting up an accommodation facility in Suva to cater for students completing Form 7 in Rotuma and moving onto Fiji to further their education.
“Most of our children drop out from tertiary because they become a burden to their relatives in Fiji,” he said.
“Unless they are looked after well then only they can realize their dreams – to have a career.”
Civil servants on the island raised their concern over the lack of workshops to empower them with information regarding the changes expected of them.
District Officer Niumaia Masere admitted that some civil servants have been serving on the island for more than 10 years yet have not attended a workshop to upgrade their knowledge and skills.
“I have raised this with the Commissioner Eastern and hopefully in the near future when Government teams like this visit Rotuma, workshops can also be arranged to upgrade them,” Mr Masere said.
Senior Careers officer Reama Pareti said the inclusion of OPM during the expos is important as our Honourable Prime Minister is a strong advocate of good education.
“The number of freebees given to education is an indication that this Government wants no child to miss out on education and the presence of OPM confirms this,” Mrs Pareti said.
The team left on the new Government vessel Cagidonu on July 16th and returned on July 26th. They arrived on Rotuma on July 18th and left Rotuma for Fiji on July 22nd.