Dr. Anjeela Jokhan, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, in conjunction with Film Fiji, launched the Media Learning Programme for schools at an event which also marked the 2022 Suva International Short Film Festival at Damodar Cinemas today.

The newly created Media Learning Programme for Schools aims to teach high school students the relevant audio-visual skills via MEHA’s online platform. It will feature learning and teaching resources for documentary, filmmaking and scriptwriting for students and teachers from Years 9-11 in the second half of this school year.

The programme which aims to replace the Kula Film Programme, provides accessible media arts resources to secondary school students and is designed to build audio-visual skills and core creativity and storytelling capabilities in students. 

11 schools are part of the pilot programme run from September to November 2022 which is open to Years 9-11 only. This pilot run with 11 schools will conclude at the end of November and the participating schools and students will be submitting their creative work based on the 3 modules of study which are “Introduction to Documentary”, “Filmmaking” and “Screenwriting”.

Rewards and participating certificates are also being planned.

Dr. Jokhan said that film making had a big potential in Fiji and will hopefully create some interest in some of the students while adding to their experience.

“The programme will allow students to gain visibility and exposure to the media and communications industry. Best students can access internships offered by Film Fiji and access internship positions within Film and TV Productions taking place in Fiji,” she added.

Not only do the participating students get to enjoy the new experience, but there are plans to reward the participants as well. This will be in addition to the benefits of students exploring other traits they may possess in terms of film making.

 “I encourage the students to expand their experience by taking part in extracurricular activities. If you experience such activities, you will come to realize that there are things beyond the mainstream academic areas that maybe of interest to you,’’ she said.

According to Dr Jokhan, there is a possibility that the same will be rolled out to all schools from Years 9-13 in coming years as an extracurricular activity. This is in light of the various benefits of this programme for aspiring students who wish to have career in the film industry.

As part of the Suva International Short Film Festival, the participants to this launch were also given the opportunity to be part of the screening which showcased international awarded short films and a selection of films form winners of past years’ Kula Film Awards.