Fiji’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ratu Meli Bainimarama met this week with Malaysia’s Minister of Education II Dato' Seri Idris bin Jusoh to look at ways of boosting relations through the education sector.
High Commissioner Bainimarama briefed the Minister on the Fijian Government-sponsored students studying in Malaysia including the programmes they were pursuing. The Minister was also advised of some of the challenges new students to Malaysia faced this year, especially with visa processing. The Minister assured High Commissioner Bainimarama that this should not be a problem next year adding that the Malaysian Government was currently piloting a project that would see entry visa for Government sponsored students’ processed separately from those for private students.
During their talks, High Commissioner Bainimarama advised that the Fijian Government would sponsoring more students for studies in Malaysia next year as part of its “Look North” policy. In view of Fiji’s initiative to send students to Malaysia, Minister Dato Idris requested his officials to consider Fiji for some of the international scholarships that Malaysia would be offering in 2014.
High Commissioner Bainimarama also advised the Minister that Fiji was currently sending retired English teachers to Pacific Island Countries under its volunteer scheme. He advised that such teachers could also be sent to Malaysia, under a similar arrangement. Minister Idris acknowledged the offer and directed his officials to liaise with the High Commissioner on the matter.
“The meeting provided a good platform for Fiji to continue to engage with Malaysia on education issues. And the outcome was a useful and meaningful base to continue that dialogue”, said High Commissioner Bainimarama.
The meeting took place at the Ministry of Education Complex, Putrajaya and saw the participation of Fiji’s High Commission Counsellor, Pita Tagicakirewa.