The Minister for Education, Heritage & Arts, Hon. Premila Kumar, received 9000 textbooks worth $25000 NZD from the Deputy High Commissioner, NZ High Commission – Ms Michelle Podmore on behalf of the Fiji Association in Auckland.

“I am grateful to receive the newest consignment of textbooks generously donated to further strengthen the government’s free textbook initiative for students, allowing them access to a range of reading materials rather than relying only on the prescribed books”, said the Hon. Premila Kumar.

While receiving the books, Minister Kumar further stated that while the Ministry continues to provide quality and equitable education for all its students as its number one priority, the generous support of our partners greatly complements our efforts. As such, the Ministry appreciates the assistance provided by the Fiji Association in Auckland.

The Fiji Association in Auckland, established in the 1970s, has actively assisted Fiji over the past three decades. The Association has also been steadfast in assisting whenever Fiji has been ravaged by natural disasters.

The Association continues to work in collaboration with the NZ High Commission to support Fiji’s education system. Yearly, it provides the platform for many students from Fiji to participate in the Secondary School Essay Competition and rewards participants with either cash prizes, trophies and or certificates.  

Education Minister said, “It is challenging to promote reading when we live in the age of Internet and smartphones, tic tokers, viral YouTube clips, Facebook chats, tweets and WhatsApp messages, but I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the simple pleasure of reading a good book”. 

Numerous research shows that reading books from an early age equips children with the vocabulary to communicate at higher levels and to excel in high order thinking.  Reading also builds children’s self-esteem and social awareness. The Minister thanked the Association and the New Zealand High Commission for this kind gesture and alluded that the Education Ministry will continue to work in partnership for future collaborations .

Ms. Michelle Podmore (Deputy High Commissioner, NZ High Commission) hands over textbooks to Hon. Premila Kumar (Minister for Education, Heritage & Arts and Local Government).