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SUVA, Fiji (PINA, April 8) - The Fiji Government has
commissioned a design study for a F$44 million (EUR21 million) rural, vocation
and technical education project funded by the European Union (EU).

It is being conducted by a team of education experts from the
University of the South Pacific (USP), Suva, and started yesterday. It is
expected to be completed by mid-June.

The EU-support is to help develop education in rural areas and
outer islands, said Maria Ralha, counsellor (economics) at the delegation of the
European Commission for the Pacific.

It will also focus on strengthening vocational and technical
training that will both help young people get jobs and assist national
development, she said.

The design study will include "talanoa" sessions with
rural communities, including villagers in outer islands.

Ralha said "The purpose is to give communities the
opportunities to express their own views in their own ways and in their own

"In the course of the next four to five weeks, the team
will be holding public discussions with selected rural, island and urban
communities, to hear directly from them what their visions and aspirations are
for themselves, their children and communities."

The study is to:

April 9, 2003

Pacific Islands News Association: 

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