Teachers of Rotuma do not have to burden themselves sending their students to Parliament after the ‘Parliament Bus’ programme outreach team visited the schools this week.
The rare visit by the team to the four primary schools and the only high school has been described as one that will certainly go down in their “history books” as students and teachers learned, for the first time, about the roles and functions of Parliament, its workings and how people can engage better with the institution.
Similar sentiments were shared by all the heads of schools as they conveyed their sincere gratitude to the team members for remembering the Rotuman children in the “Parliament Bus” education programme.
The team visited Malha’a Primary School, Paptea Primary School, Motusa District School, Christ the King Primary School and Rotuma High School.
In conveying their appreciation, Christ the King Primary School Head Teacher, Mr Petero Marafono said they were touched by the sacrifices made by the team members to leave their families behind and travelled all the way to Rotuma for the programme.
“Today, we can say that we are blessed to have been visited by the team. You all have made sacrifices to be here just so our children are well-informed about Parliament and with this, we are indeed grateful,” Mr Marafono said.
“Our children don’t have any knowledge at all about the operations of our Parliament. Our geographical location also restricts us from coming to Suva as a school to visit Parliament but we are forever thankful to the team for bringing Parliament down to us.”
“Our children will greatly benefit from this programme and for this, we are indebted to the team and the executives of the Department of Legislature for remembering us in their programme.”
As for Motusa Head Teacher, Mr Marseu Manueli, he said the knowledge gained from the programme would allow students to have a different view about Parliament.
“Before this team came, the students didn’t even know the Members of Parliament and even the Ministers. They didn’t even know about what happens in Parliament.”
“We can’t thank the team enough as they have just done us a huge favour. They have brought Parliament to our doorsteps instead of us spending a huge sum of money to visit the institution in Suva.”
“Thank you so much Team Parliament,” he added.
Meanwhile, the team also visited some villages on the island as part of the programme.
The programme has been made possible through the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, under its Fiji Parliament Support Project II which is funded by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand.