151 street dwellers and marginalised youths graduate

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FNU’s TVET Pasifika’s Free Short Course Graduation ceremony held at the TVET Centre at Robertson Road in Suva. Picture FNU

By offering free TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) courses to street kids and marginalised communities, we are not just providing education; we are breaking the cycle of poverty and transforming lives.

Fiji National University Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba said this after 151 youth including street dwellers and those from impoverished backgrounds graduated in FNU’s TVET Pasifika free short course program last week in Suva.

She said the free TVET short courses “are a beacon of hope and a pathway to a better future.”

“They provide individuals with practical skills and knowledge, enabling them to secure stable employment and improve their quality of life,” the Acting VC said.

Keleni Baubau Taria graduated in basic cookery after undergoing the five-day training.

The 18-year-old said she was looking forward to utilizing the skills she acquired to lay the foundation for a career in the food business.

“This short course allowed me to learn a lot of different types of food over the past few days,” she said.

“I learnt of this short course through my father, he told me to enroll in it as I love cooking.

“I cook mostly at home as it is my hobby. After I complete my studies, I wish to find a job with this certificate and further my studies in this field.”

Keleni Baubau Taria says the basic cookery skills she learnt at the FNU TVET Pasifika’s free short course will better prepare her for the future. Picture FNU

FNU Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba says the free TVET short courses are a beacon of hope and a pathway to a better future.

“They provide individuals with practical skills and knowledge, enabling them to secure stable employment and improve their quality of life,” she said.

“By offering free TVET courses to street kids and marginalised communities, we are not just providing education; we are breaking the cycle of poverty and transforming lives.”

FNU in partnership with the Education Ministry is providing the free TVET short courses in domestic electrical installation, basic screen printing, basic cookery, small engine repair and household and sanitary plumbing for street dwellers, street kids and residents of squatter and informal settlements.

Education Minister Aseri Radrodro said the skills and knowledge that students attained via TVET provided them with trade expertise that was required for specific industries and professions.

“In developing nations, such as Fiji, where there is a need for a skilled workforce in various sectors like agriculture, tourism, construction, and healthcare, TVET education can help bridge the skills gap,” he said.

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