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4 April, 2020, 8:04 am
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4 April, 2020, 8:04 am Central - 23°C Rain

217,662 students benefit from Free Education initiative during the current financial year

217,662 students benefit from Free Education initiative during the current financial year

By Anamika Singh and Semi Turaga
Wednesday 05/06/2019

A total of 217,662 students benefitted from the Free Education initiative during the current financial year.

According to the Education Ministry, 148,609 were primary school students while 69,053 were secondary school students.

17,671 students also benefitted from the Free Early Childhood Education initiative last year.

$66.4 million was allocated for student fees in 2018/2019 National Budget.

The government had allocated a little over one billion dollars to the Education sector in the 2018/2019 National Budget.

$5 million was also allocated to recruit an additional 200 primary school and 50 secondary school teachers.

The Education Ministry says it continues to face a shortage of secondary school teachers particularly those with a degree or diploma in Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Industrial Arts.

It was also announced that the school curriculum will be reviewed and that government will look at having Learners and Advanced Maths in schools.

The Education Ministry says comprehensive work is being done on this with the help of experts from outside Fiji and Specialist Officers in the Curriculum Division are also being appointed.

$240 million dollars has been spent so far to rehabilitate schools that were damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

400 new buildings have been constructed and 1,350 buildings upgraded.

434 schools sustained various levels of damages from TC Winston across the country.

Currently, the Construction Implementation Unit is managing 206 projects while the Ministry is carrying out minor upgrade works for 125 schools.

In terms of the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme, 970 students have been awarded Toppers Scholarships for this year.

This is a significant increase from the 630 toppers scholarships that were awarded last year.

This year a total of 20 scholarships are also being offered for overseas studies which are for  in specialised courses that are not offered in Fiji including architecture, counseling, forensic science, genetic science, speech therapy, specialized education and town planning.

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will deliver the 2019/2020 National Budget address at 7.30pm this Friday.

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