FEO training workshop | Election toolkits for schools

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Acting Supervisor of Elections Ana Mataiciwa speaking at the launch of the 2024-2027 Fijian Elections Office strategic plan at the Holiday Inn in Suva. Picture: JONA KONATACI

The Fijian Elections Office has taken a significant step toward nurturing democracy and civic participation among youths by introducing school election toolkits (SET) at a two-day training workshop attended by teachers and assistant principals.

The initiative aims to instil the values of democracy in students while providing hands-on experience in the electoral process.

Acting Supervisor of Elections Ana Mataiciwa said the launch, attended by soon-to-be facilitators, marked the initiation of a pilot program in 10 schools in the Central Division, including Suva Grammar School, Rishkul Sanatan College and Suva Muslim College.

“It’s basically just informing the schools about how to prepare for elections and things they should consider,” Ms Mataiciwa said.

The elections office will provide the necessary toolkits, including ballot boxes and election materials, to schools so that children can get a feel of what to expect during a general election.

“It’s a step-by-step process to enable them to not only understand the voting process but also the processes leading up to casting their votes, which include voter awareness, campaigning, candidate eligibility for the students, and even their eligibility as voters for student elections,” Ms Mataiciwa said.

The SET, a core component of the office’s 2024–2027 strategic plan, seeks to enhance stakeholder engagement and collaboration, ultimately increasing voter participation.

The office plans to extend the school election toolkits to schools nationwide next year.

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