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2019 ACADEMIC YEAR
As the new academic year starts on Monday 14 January 2019 Hon. Minister Rosy Akbar wishes to thank all students and teachers for the achievements in 2018 and expects a step up in performance for 2019. Hon. Minister also congratulates schools that have performed exceptionally well in the 2018 external examinations. Term 1 and term 2 comprise of 14 weeks while term 3 has 13 weeks. Students will have 2 weeks holiday after term 1 and term 2. Heads of Schools and teachers have reported to school from today for 3 days student free day programme. During the programme School Heads will look at the challenges faced in 2018, organize Professional Development sessions, prepare lesson plans and lesson notes, analyze examination results, adapt best practices in their respective subject areas and prepare school year planner to capture curricula
and extra-curricular activities.

Hon. Minister also wishes to advise that all existing eligible students will continue to receive transport assistance and will use the redeem function to top up their E-transport cards. This can be done at any Vodafone Fiji outlet, Valuefone Fiji Ltd, Mr Mobile Fiji Ltd, bus POS, District Education Office and Ministry of Education Headquarters (Waisomo House). Students and parents are encouraged to top up at their nearest Vodafone outlet where possible and to call toll free line 151 to get further details. All new students, especially year 1 students’ who are eligible for assistance should apply for assistance at their respective schools.

Hon. Minister also added that the free milk and Weet-Bix initiative by the Fiji First Government will continue in 2019.
Parents are advised to ensure that they do their part in ensuring their children report to school fully prepared to commence the 2019 school year. All boarding students shouldbe well equipped with boarding kits as per the ‘kit list’ given by the school.

The Hon. Minister confirms that as schools have been equipped with textbooks, parents, guardians and students do not need to purchase any textbook for the 2019 academic year. The Hon Minister urges students to take good care of the textbooks issued to them since all textbooks are supplied free of charge to students.

Minister Akbar thanks all school management committees for their continued support and also acknowledges those that conducted their Annual General Meetings on time  last year as this will enable the Ministry to release Term 1 Free Education Grant for the beginning of 2019 academic year. School management is encouraged to conduct Annual General Meetings before 31 March 2019 and forward the Audited Financial Report to Ministry of Education to allow timely release of Term 2 Free Education Grant. School  management and School Heads are encouraged to utilize the Free Education Grant according to the policy.

On that note, the faith based organizations and community run schools and school management are reminded to work with their newly appointed School Heads to pave the way forward. The Ministry is working collaboratively with all its stakeholders to ensure that no stones are unturned in delivering quality education to all students. Hence, looking forward to a consolidated effort and more dialogue with all stakeholders to achieve targets set for 2019.

Minister Akbar has confirmed that TC Winston rehabilitation work is currently being done in 11 schools with reconstruction expected to be completed by 31 March 2019 for 10 schools. Other maintenance and  reconstruction work will continue for identified schools. The Ministry will ensure that all students are based properly in classrooms fully equipped with furniture for this new school year. Hon. Minister wishes all school heads, teachers, parents, school managements and students’ best wishes for the 2019 academic year.

Ends [09/01/19]
Hon. Rosy Akbar, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts