New chapter for 150 underprivileged students

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Domestic Electrical Installation graduates at FNU’s TVET Pasifika Centre in Suva. Picture: AISHA AZEEMAH

“Let this graduation be a testament to our potential and a reminder that we have the power to achieve our dreams,” said TVET Domestic Electrical Installation graduate Tomasi Bula, speaking as representative of the about 150 students that graduated on Friday last week.

The Fiji National University delivered a free week-long training program for street dwellers and those living in informal settlements to provide pathways to education for those who had thus far been denied the opportunity due to socioeconomic factors.

The proud graduates were awarded their certificates on September 15, 2023, at the FNU TVET Pasifika Centre in Suva.

“Let us continue to strive for excellence and make our families, educators, our communities, and most importantly, our nation proud,” Mr Bula said.

Fellow Domestic Electrical Installation student Vilivo Nayabo Jr said,” We are thankful to the ministry of education and FNU for giving us the opportunity so we can pursue our dreams, and I’m looking forward for the service we can do.”

Graduates Jeremaia Rayawa and Sireli Tuinona eagerly shared with The Fiji Times what they had learned over the course of the week and expressed that the program had opened the door for them to return to their academic pursuits.

Household and Sanitary Plumbing graduate Veronica Tabuya said she now intends to continue her studies at FNU’s National Training & Productivity Centre in Narere. Ms Tabuya’s mother proudly watched her daughter graduate via video call as she continued her household responsibilities.

“I love to build and create things with my own hands,” Ms Tabuya said.

“I just want to thank the ministry of education and FNU for giving us school dropouts a chance! Vinaka!”

In delivering his vote of thanks, Tomasi Bula emphasised the power a program of this kind can carry to alter the course of a person’s life.

“As we embark on our individual journeys, we carry with us the skills and knowledge imparted by this institution. We are ready to face the world armed with the tools necessary to contribute to society, solve problems, and make a positive impact,” he said.

“Today marks the culmination of our efforts and the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.”

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