I wish each of our students well as they head back to class for the new term!
I want to send a special message to those students whose schools lay in the painful path of Cyclone Yasa’s devastation: For your Government, rebuilding your schools is our single highest priority. These storms are becoming stronger, and their costs are high – but we will never let them steal your education or wreck your great potential.
Our RFMF Engineers, committed members of our private sector, along with our friends around the world are hard at work restoring your school buildings. Some schools are already open – all others will be as soon as it is safe.
My fellow Fijians, the twin crises of COVID-19 and climate change have been catastrophic for our people. We cannot say exactly when things will improve. But unlike so many girls and boys around the world whose schools are closed due to the pandemic, our children are in their classes. They are becoming better and more educated citizens, and that lets us know we are on the right path; that our future will be in good hands. Every school we re-open is a victory for our country. Every student who is able to attend classes is a blessing. And every hour they study, learn, and expand their minds is an investment in Fiji’s success as a country.
As our students begin their school terms, at no cost to their families, with free textbooks and subsidised transportation to school — we can rest assured, no matter how difficult our situation may be today, things will get better, the future will be brighter, and it will be shaped by the most talented and gifted generation of Fijians our nation has ever known.
To our students: Don’t take your education for granted. Your hard work today will reap lifelong benefit, for yourselves and for your country. Respect your teachers, as well as the materials and classroom equipment you have been provided. Most of all, show respect and care towards your fellow students. This is a tough time for many families in Fiji, but it costs nothing to be compassionate — so please, be kind at all times.
Vinaka vakalevu. God Bless you all!