Fiji Ministry Hopes To Enhance Respect, Appreciation Of Cultural Diversity

Dr Mahendra Reddy: One strategy is to encourage  cultural learning in schools'

By Repeka Nasiko

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 14, 2017) – The Department of Heritage and Arts has set out strategies to enhance and improve cultural diversity in the country.

Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Dr Mahendra Reddy said one of the strategies to be adopted was the encouragement of cultural learning in schools.

"In contemporary Fiji, our children need to continue learning about their own culture and at the same time respect and appreciate others' cultures and values and accommodate them in their lives to become better rounded and accomplished citizens," he said while opening the Multicultural Centre workshop in Nadi yesterday.

"The main objective of this forum is to strategise and plan to heighten cultural diversity in our nation.

"Enticed with the vision to promote social cohesion through cultural diversity, the five multi-ethnic cultural centres over the years has trained many children in cultural music, dance and playing musical instruments.

"The centres have prepared students to understand the richness of cultural instruments and most importantly instilled in them the discipline and dedication that is linked to cultural music and other aspects of learning."

Newly-appointed Department of Heritage director, Collin Yabaki said working with the different multi-cultural centres in the country was an important aspect of heightening cultural education in schools and communities.

"All the centres are doing really well," he said.

"But there is a matter of administration work and ensuring that our officers are operating within our frameworks and we can assist in whatever work that they need help in.

"We can use some of our resources through the Ministry of Education to help our cultural centres so that we are able to uplift the work that has already been done."

[PIR editor's note: On March 14, 2017 Fiji Times reported that 'Government has launched an investigation into the alleged misuse of grants for multicultural centres in the country. ... Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Dr Mahendra Reddy said the ministry had to investigate issues of funds mismanagement. ... "The funds allocated for the different activities and processes must be effectively used," he said.']

Fiji Times Online.
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