The Fiji National University (FNU) today commenced the block of graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2019, who were expected to graduate in December last year, however, due to measles epidemic that threatened Fiji, the graduation ceremonies were postponed to this year.

The first ceremony this morning
at the FMF Gymnasium witnessed 118 students graduating from the College of
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (CAFF) while 110 students graduated from
the National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC).

Chief Guest, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy, highlighted that this graduation ceremony was a โ€˜specialโ€™ one, where 10 pioneer students graduated from the programme of Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry offered by CAFF.

โ€œYou donโ€™t see one too many
veterinary colleges throughout the world. Itโ€™s a very costly programme. Some
six years ago, the Fijian-Government took a very bold step in accepting the
proposal from the University to go ahead and establish a veterinary programme,
where the University will produce veterinarians to assist the country deal with
issues or challenges in the animal sector,โ€ said Dr Reddy.

โ€œSmall developing countries have
been struggling to hire or send their students for veterinary training, and
this would no longer be an issue as our own University has now established its
veterinary programme.โ€

The Minister, while
congratulating the students on their achievements, challenged the graduates to
make the country proud with their contributions.

โ€œGraduates you have acquired a
stock of knowledge, but knowledge doesnโ€™t end there. The society is dynamic in
nature and therefore, every now and then you will have to verify the existing
stock of knowledge that you have,โ€ Dr Reddy added.

FNU Vice-Chancellor Professor
Nigel Healey highlighted that CAFF has evolved from training for fieldwork to
policy formulation and leadership of the workforce in the field.

Professor Healey said while the
University remains focused on primary industries, it also now training more
students to become leaders in their field.

Meanwhile, a Bachelor of
Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry graduate Shavneel Nadan Chetty
acknowledged the support and guidance of his family in making his dream come
true.

โ€œI am from a farming background
and that is where I developed the love for taking care of animals.โ€

According to Chetty, it was a
difficult journey and he is extremely excited for making it through after
almost six years of sacrifices, hard work and commitment.

He is currently employed by
Goodman Fielder as Veterinary Support.

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