Roko Tui Cautata;
Commissioner Central Eastern;
Head Teacher and Staff of the School;
Turaga kei na Marama e na Vanua Vakaturaga o Cautata;
Parents and Students;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.
I’m pleased to be here with all of you today to hand over the new teacher’s quarters for Cautata District School, and to officially commission the nearby Cautata Bakery.

Thank you for welcoming me to your school this morning, and for the traditional welcome accorded to me and my Officials.
I wish to thank the School Management Committee for their guidance over the years, and for their role in shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders –– a vision that is shared by myself and my Government. And with each passing year, the number of lives that have been impacted by your work continues to expand; since the Cautata District School’s inception in 1960, it has now grown to enroll 174 students.
It was during my visit last year when I first learned of the need for new teachers quarters, and made a personal commitment to filling this gap for the benefit of your school, your students, and your communities. Funded through my Office’s Small Grant Scheme, it brings me great joy to be here today to deliver on this promise.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my Government’s commitment to education is no secret; the revolution that schooling in Fiji has undergone during my time as Prime Minister has been my proudest achievement. I find nothing more fulfilling than seeing the real human impact of Government investment, and nowhere is that investment clearer than with our students.
And the Cautata District School has been alongside us on every step of that journey of growth. In 2015, Fiji’s very first Early Childhood Education library was launched here, and just this year, new furniture was provided and a kindergarten ablution block with a play center was built.
Each of these investments have shown my Government’s continued commitment to the education of our children, and its invaluable role in our broader development as a nation. While these projects may seem small to some, I see the very large impact that they have on our communities and our people. Facilities like these new quarters are so important because they allow our teachers to focus wholly on teaching, and our students to focus wholly on learning. That’s why I’m working so hard to ensure that all Fijian students at every level, wherever they reside, are provided with learning environments that are conducive to their success, both inside the classroom and later in life.
But all of this work to construct schools to a higher standard and cover tuition fees of our students would mean nothing without the children who fill Fijian classrooms. That’s why I was disappointed to see false rumours being spread on social media about school fees, and even more disappointed to hear of those rumours effecting turnout to schools on 23rd September. I urge you to stop listening to empty threats and unfounded lies, especially when it can undermine the progress we’ve worked so hard to achieve. I assure you, my friends –– the free education grant has been an historic success for Fiji, and it is going nowhere.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank the people of Cautata, Waicoka and Vatoa for taking ownership of the Cautata District School, and for recognising the important role it plays in your communities.
I urge parents to extend that commitment beyond the classroom. Learning starts from home; devoting your time and energy towards the education of your children should be a top priority. By supporting your children, you are not only helping shape their lives, but helping shape the next generation of Fijian greatness.
My friends, the improvements to Cautata go beyond your school; I also have the pleasure of commissioning the Cautata Bakery today, a business that is already uplifting the quality of life in your community. While my Government put forward nearly $84,000 dollars to make this project a reality, it was truly a community effort; contributions of time and money were put in by your families and neighbours, recognising this would be an investment that not only filled your stomachs, but fueled the local economy. I hope that this will serve as an inspiration for the children of your school in how to put your best foot forward, offering lessons in life and business alike.
It gives me great comfort to know that, with both of today’s official openings, the future of your communities just got a bit brighter. I look forward to returning in the future to see your continued growth.
Vinaka vakalevu - Thank you.