Opening of Ratu Peni Neumi Memorial Infant School - Filipe Bole


Filipe Bole

Nakawakawa Village, Wainunu,Bua.


• Gone Turaga na Raravula Naniudamu
• Gone Turaga na Raravula Nakawakawa
• Gone Turaga na Vunivola Nakorolevu
• Gone Turaga na Drika I Roko Taba
• Invited Guests
• The Deputy Secretary for Education, MRS BASUNDRA KUMAR
• Officials from the Ministry of Education
• Ladies and Gentlemen

Ni sa Bula vinaka!

Vinaka Vakalevu na veitavaki kei na veiqaravi vakavanua.
Au marautaka vakalevu na noqu rawa ni tiko e na mataka vinaka ni kua e na kena mai dolavi na i matai ni ono na koronivuli vou ka vakatokai na ‘Infant School.’

Good Day to Each and Every one present here today!


It is a great Pleasure to be here in Nakawakawa, Wainunu, Bua and to officiate in the Opening Ceremony of this New Infant School, Ratu Peni Neumi Memorial Infant School. I do thank all of you for being here to share this important moment with us. It is an occasion of great significance in many ways. It is significant because of the cooperation of Government Ministries and the landowners of Nakawakawa who have made the establishment of the school and construction of Ratu Peni Neumi Infant School possible.

Ratu Peni Neumi Memorial Infant School is the first Infant School under this government’s initiative to be completed and we are here to officially witness its opening.

The other five Infant schools include Navotua Infant in Nacula, Yasawa which will be officially opened next week, Nailou Infant in Cakaudrove, Kavula – Banikea Infant in Lekutu, Vatubalavu Infant in Navosa and Wainunu Infant in Cogea.

The government at all levels, national, provincial and local have made important contributions, both symbolic and very practical in the establishment of the Infant Schools.

The establishment of Infant Schools is one of the initiatives of our Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that aims at supporting students who are faced with challenges in accessing students’ education.

The objective of the project is to provide education closer to home for students in the age group six to eight years old who are boarding.


There are 110 registered primary boarding schools in Fiji and they are spread over the nine education Districts. This includes four special schools. A total of 4246 students are boarding in these schools with ages ranging from five years to fourteen years.

The Boarding Statistics show that approximately, 12% of students from each class level board, implying that about one quarter (1/4) of the boarders are from classes one (1) and two (2). While the Eastern Division has the highest number of primary boarding schools which is 22, the Bua/Macuata District has the highest number of boarders which is 774.

The primary purpose of these boarding schools is to provide accommodation, meals and a learning environment to students who find it difficult to travel daily to and from home because of distance and the difficulty in transportation. Students as young as five year olds board in

Boarding Facilities vary considerably from school to school and
supervision is mostly carried out by teachers assisted by parents. Older students do most of the hostel duties which may include cleaning and even helping the younger boarders.


Students between the ages of five to eight attending boarding schools do not see their parents and home for the entire week hence missing out on early childhood family care, love and guidance provided by parents. This separation can strain the healthy development of the emotional bond that exists between the child and parents that could have a negative effect on the emotional development of the child.

Safety and Health risks for very young students are some of the concerns in some Boarding schools

The establishments of Infant schools will take care of all the concerns that
I have stated and the young students from Nakawakawa will no longer be boarding at Ratu Luke Primary Boarding School, but will be coming and returning to the comfort of their own homes every day.

Special mention should be made of the role of elders of Nakawakawa for availing the piece of land for the Infant School.

I would also like to recognize the contribution of the architect and the Sharnik Construction for their ongoing effort to complete the project. The total cost of the construction, furniture for the classrooms plus freight is $454, 275:00

The significance of this occasion extends beyond the establishment and opening of the school. The accessibility and delivery of quality education to the students and their parents now and in the years ahead is perhaps the most important dimension.

We live in a world of rapid change that is often not predictable and not always positive. The best way to prepare for change, whether positive or negative is to anticipate it and prepare for it. On the basis of my experience as a former teacher, educator, Permanent Secretary and as Minister for Education - for the past fifty years, I have come to the conclusion that there is no greater form of preparation for change than Education.

There is no better investment that the individual, parents and the nation can make than an investment in education of the highest possible quality.


Students from Nakawakawa, Saolo and Nabukanikadamu will today enjoy their new three classroom building and furniture while the teachers will certainly be grateful for the two new teachers’ quarters.

Be reminded that you will be no longer called classes 1, 2 or 3 but Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 students.
I extend my congratulations and Best wishes to everyone associated with the school.

As the Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, I have much Honour in declaring Ratu Peni Neumi Memorial Infant School Open.

May God ‘s Blessing be upon the School!