1 Apr 2005

Fiji education ministry looks at supporting children of overseas workers

3:16 pm on 1 April 2005

Fiji's Education ministry is preparing strategies to cope with social problems among children whose parents are absent, working overseas.

The Education minister Ro Teimumu Kepa says while overseas jobs for Fijians delivered over $160 million US dollars in remittances last year, there's concern about the children left behind with relatives and neighbours.

Increasing numbers of Fijian military and police officers are heading overseas to work in peacekeeping and security work, as well as nurses and females heading to mafkets like America to work as caregivers.

Mrs Kepa says the ministry believes the effects will be seen in schools this year and is looking to bring in intervention strategies for extracarricular support.

"Now one area that we have looked at is a model that was a model that had been used successfully in the state of Victoria, and it is called the Peer Support Programme. Now this is organised in the schools as an extracarricular activity in which the teachers, who will be trained, will assist the students to confrotn some of the issues that we know they will be going through, and to help eachother."