Andrew Naiqulevu a member of the Lodge of Fiji presented Incentive Awards for 2018 to students of Vakacereivalu Primary School in Sigatoka last Friday.

Reapi Jessica Nai Qio the Top Student in Class 5, Tanaituicake Emoni the Top Student in Class 6, and Vasemaca Rairuku the Top Student in Class 7 all received $100 each and  Lewasau Ulamila the Dux of the School, now resident in Sigatoka received $200. Lewasau as Dux also received the Ferguson Shield.   These awards  had been donated by Mr  & Mrs , Geoffrey Ferguson a Freemason and his wife from Australia who were unable to be present.

Because of flash flooding on Friday resulting from heavy overnight rain on Thursday it had taken the three students from Vakacereivalu Primary School from the upper reaches of the Sigatoka Valley  a day and a half to reach Sigatoka to receive their Incentive Awards.

The students had to wait to cross flooded bridges, and walkover gullies,  as the foot bridges were down, and also slept in a remote school overnight before being picked up  by Education Department transport to get them to Sigatoka, tired but full of good spirits and enthusiasm.

Naiqulevu commended the students on their excellent results, dedication and fortitude in braving the rain, flash flooding and their long walk to get to the presentation. He said Lodge Fiji had committed to continuing this program for the next five years and would see if this help could be extended to other schools.

Similar awards donated by the Lodge of Fiji that  were also to be presented to four students from the Vatutoko Bainimarama Primary School could not be made because the conditions were too difficult for the students to make the journey to Sigatoka.  These awards will be presented when weather conditions improve.

The Head Teacher of Vakacereivalu Primary School, Isimeli Druavesi said prior to the incentive program the school had a  zero final  exam pass rate, and in this the first year of this program this had increased to 58% that  proved the effectiveness of the scheme.

The awards were facilitated with the assistance of Mr Setariki Riki the Senior Education Officer, Nadroga/Navosa,  Mr Shaylendra Rao Education Officer , Nadroga Navosa and Mr Nitya Nand Gounder, Head Teacher, Sigatoka Methodist Primary School.

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