Ministry targets vocational training to tackle dropout rates

May 18, 2024 7:54 am

[File Photo]

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs has identified technical and vocational education and training as essential paths in an attempt to address the high rate of school dropouts and unemployment among iTaukei students.

According to the Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Pita Tagicakirewa, this was brought up during the two-day Inaugural Provincial Education Forum, which focused on strategies to improve educational outcomes for iTaukei students.

Tagicakirewa stressed the need for critical learning to develop skills to tackle unemployment among the iTaukei youths.

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“But the most basic issue for us is improving the quality of life at the village level, and we totally believe that education is one of the key pillars to achieving that. We’re not only looking at higher education, but like I said, it’s skills development through TVET, technical vocational educational programs.”

Ba Provincial Council Chair, Meli Tora, stresses the importance of this initiative in reaching communities at the village level.

“We’ll have a well-equipped future generation of our country, not only academically, but also those who are going to be providing the skilled labor force in our country.”

To solve the issue of low student intake, Isikeli Karikaritu, a member of the Lau Provincial Council Education Committee, proposed utilizing current schools for vocational courses.

“Despite the low number of students’ intake that is now there, there could be as many as only 30 students in the school, and if you are really to utilize resources in terms of teaching and so on, there’s a definite need to merge some of the schools.”

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs intends to improve the standard of living for iTaukei communities by lowering dropout rates and unemployment through prioritizing TVET so that it can help develop iTaukei students to be more resilient and excel academically.