Education Ministry to provide free textbooks


Improving student access to education at all levels will continue to be a priority to the Ministry of Education. Part of the efforts to improve access is the reduction of the costs of education especially to the parents of low socio-economic status and those living under difficult circumstances.
Currently the Ministry provides free tuition and free bus fares for students that travel by bus. In trying to further reduce the costs of education to parents and students, the Ministry is embarking on a project of providing free textbooks to all students.
The provision of free textbooks is expected to be carried out in phases and will begin next year 2010, starting with primary schools.
In this regard, the Education Ministry will first work with certain districts in 2010 and the project is expected to cover all primary schools by 2011.
Secondary schools are expected to begin receiving free textbooks by 2012.
At present, Government is printing these essential textbooks for primary schools and distribution is expected to begin as soon as possible.
The Ministry views this assistance to bring another sigh of relief for parents as they can now concentrate on other items such as student lunches, uniforms and school stationery. It is part of the Ministry’s overall strategies to bring greater effectiveness to its reforms of providing all children in Fiji with 12 years of basic education.
The whole exercise is geared towards the direction of providing free education for all students.

Filipe Bole
Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Youth and Sports, Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment.