Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA), Alison Burchell and Professor Pal Ahluwalia, USP Vice Chancellor and President (VCP) at the Handover of Literacy and Numeracy Kits to USP.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes and the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA), Alison Burchell handed two sets of literacy and numeracy kits, valued at FJD 14,000, comprised of 800 graded readers for students in Year 1-4 and a range of numeracy and learning resources to The University of the South Pacific
(USP) on 8 November.
The Australian Government, in partnership with the Government of Fiji, is supporting Fiji’s Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA) to produce better literacy and numeracy outcomes for children across selected schools in Fiji.
Fiji’s 5-Year and 20-Year National Development Plan outlines improvements in literacy and numeracy learning outcomes as a key priority for Fiji and the Australian Government is committed to supporting Fiji to reach this goal.
Professor Pal Ahluwalia, USP Vice Chancellor and President (VCP), received the resources on behalf of USP and thanked the Australian Government for the wonderful gift provided to USP.
He said that literacy and numeracy are vital for the success of the school children and education in general.
Professor Ahluwalia said, “Improvements in literacy and numeracy learning outcomes are a key priority for Fiji as emphasised in the National Development Plan. USP and the four other Teacher Training Institutions (TTIs) play a strategic role in improving learning outcomes in schools through quality teacher education and USP is in an even more strategic position to cast a broader impact given that we are a regional institution.”
Mr Feakes said, “This handover exemplifies Australia’s continued commitment to supporting improved learning outcomes for all Fijian girls and boys, and complements our $84 million, 6-year, partnership with USP announced in January this year during the Australian Prime Minister, the Honourable Scott Morrison’s, visit to Fiji.”
He added, “The partnership supports USP’s efforts to improve the quality of teacher education as well as education of students at tertiary levels in fields such as economics, human resource management and tourism management.”
“I am confident that literacy and numeracy kits provided to USP will be put to good use in the training of a new generation of teachers for the Pacific and that they will improve student learning outcomes overtime.”
Mr Feakes thanked the Ministry and USP for the collaboration in driving the mission forward.
Ms Burchell expressed appreciation for Australia’s support in key priority areas including literacy and numeracy. She challenged teacher training institutions to help improve Fiji’s performance in key literacy and numeracy indicators, including performance in the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) and Fiji’s Literacy and Numeracy Assessments (LANA).
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