The Permanent Secretary for Education, Heritage and Arts, Dr. Anjeela Jokhan, received 280 book sets from Vision Fiji and Fiji Water Foundation yesterday.

Vision Fiji and Fiji Water Foundation have provided a total of 334,750 titles to primary schools, 17 Desktops and Teachings Aids to Special Schools and 100 kits to Early Childhood Education Centres worth 900k throughout Fiji under the READ to LEAD FIJI project. It is a customized classroom program aimed at Fiji’s primary school students. Initiated by local NGO Vision Fiji, READ to LEAD FIJI is designed to promote children’s literacy and develop the essential foundation for their further learning across Fiji’s schools by engaging teachers, parents and the community.

In her address, Dr. Jokhan emphasized the importance of literacy in a person’s life. “Children can develop a strong foundation for literacy when they are given opportunities to engage in purposeful and early learning activities,” said the Permanent Secretary.

Through this initiative, Vision Fiji and Fiji Water Foundation are helping to foster a culture of reading among young learners.

The Permanent Secretary said that the Ministry is committed to improving the literacy rates in Fiji and is grateful to Vision Fiji and Fiji Water Foundation for the reading materials and the support provided to help in accomplishing its vision.

“It is important that children develop a reading culture early in their lives, either by reading books or eBooks, whatever they are comfortable with. The Ministry is collecting soft copies of books given by our donors and depositing them in its LearningHub for easy access by all. We will continue to do this so our students have access to soft copies of the books as well,” said Dr. Jokhan 

Dr. Jokhan also encouraged parents to maintain a culture of reading to enhance their children’s literacy skills.

Vision Fiji encourages Head Teachers and Teachers to take a proactive role in using Read to Lead FIJI books, exercises and audios available online. These beautifully illustrated, well researched books can be used for non-readers in high school, as well as various subjects in any class e.g. science, culture, history and so on.

The Read to Lead FIJI project is a gift of education to our children. It is one of the best tools to teach children skills such as Listening, Reading, Writing, Conversing in English and raising our level of literacy. Teachers who follow this program, together with the Ministry of Education’s Literacy Guide, say it makes it “so much easier to teach English. Children love these books, and the exercises that go with it. In fact, they are getting creative in devising new ways of learning English, using the tips included in the book sets”

Chair Gazala Akbar says “Vision Fiji’s Read to Lead Fiji program is grounded in the belief that children who are proficient in English, understand and do better in other subjects, and all spheres of life and in further education. Empowering our children with good education is extremely important in creating generational change.”

The 280 sets of books was handed over yesterday to the Ministry by Vision Fiji and Fiji Water Foundation at the Library Services of Fiji.