Fiji’s Communication and IT PS officiates at Focus session
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Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Communications and Information Technology Mr. Ewan Perrin at the FSTE Focus session in Laucala.
Fiji stands at an inflection point in history like many other parts of the world, said the Permanent Secretary for Communications and Information Technology Mr. Ewan Perrin.
He made the comment at the launch of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) ‘Focus Session’organised by the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) during the Entrepreneurial and Career Fair on 19 April, 2016 at the Laucala Campus.
According to Mr Perrin, the information age is still relatively young and there are so many exciting discoveries happening daily in all sorts of fields, but most certainly in science and technology.
He noted that the professional skilling of Fijians and other people from around the South Pacific is a crucial foundation for future prosperity and for the opportunities it will provide graduates both in the region and around the world.
“Science and technology skills have never been so necessary, never been in so much demand. But sadly, never have these skills and qualifications been in so much decline,” Mr Perrin said.
Sharing his own student life experience, Mr Perrin said, “It’s not until a little while after you graduate, after you have caught up on sleep and returned to a normal workload that you realise how much you have grown, how much smarter you are now. So even though it’s difficult, it is worthwhile”.
Education, he shared, can lift us out of economic hardship, it can awaken creativity and sharpen our minds.
“It is an end in itself and it also leads to wonderful opportunities,” he highlighted.
Mr Perrin said that he studied Information Systems, Management and Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
“I can’t remember all the theory I studied or the content of all the articles I read. But I do know what it did for me, at the deepest level, the greatest value. It taught me critical thinking, and it taught me creativity.
“Of course, we already have those qualities in us, but the discipline of good study brings them into focus, sharpens those skills. Those two things are by far the most important things I got out of tertiary education,” he emphasised.
Mr Perrin said that the Fijian Government is currently in the midst of reforming the civil service.
“We are always on the lookout for keen minds, people with new ideas and enthusiasm, people who want to make a difference to their community through service. We also want to create an environment where business can thrive and grow as well,” he said.
FSTE Dean Dr Anjeela Jokhan said universities now have an added responsibility to produce graduates who not only go out to be employees but also have an option to become employers, hence they are able to start their own businesses, become entrepreneurs and able to create jobs.
“In this time and age, universities are focusing on giving students opportunities while they journey through their studies to innovate, create and if that is what they are interested in, to become entrepreneurs,” Dr Jokhan said.
She added that there are various ways in which universities do that and USP is no exception.
“The Entrepreneurial and Career Fair started in 2013 when our current Strategic Plan was launched and a number of activities held. Essentially what we do is give you the opportunity to meet with industries, entrepreneurs, to find out one-on-one how businesses are started, how they run if you are inclined gradually to go in that direction,” she explained.
The Entrepreneurial and Career Fair ends on Friday 22 April, 2016.
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