Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports, Alipate Nagata yesterday officiated at the badging and certificate presentation ceremony for six students of Naiyala Secondary School in Wainibuka and two from Saint Vincent College in Natovi.

 The students who were part of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award programme have successfully completed the bronze category of the award after fulfilling the required number of hours in the three sections of the Award namely community service, skills and physical recreation with the inclusion of spending one night and two days undertaking an expedition or exploration to meet the requirement for the Adventurous Journey section of the Award.

Speaking to students of the two schools, Nagata said Government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, continues to provide advocacy programs targeted at creating sustainable livelihood for all youths.

 “The Ministry, through our non-formal education programs such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, is mandated to carry out empowerment training specifically to develop the young minds of our future leaders,” the assistant minister said.

 “As most of us are aware, not all learning takes place in a classroom. Young people need experiences outside the classroom to be committed, responsible and fulfilled citizens of this country.

 “The Ministries of Youth and Sports and Education, through the Award program, wish to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills which will ultimately improve student’s academic performance. This will also set a strong platform for future goals to be achieved.”

 Nagata further told students that he was fascinated by the determination they have each shown in finishing the programme and the level of excellence shown across different aspects and discipline.

 “You can bask in this achievement, but also know that the qualities that you have shown in gaining this Award are qualities that will do you well in your future careers and lives,” he told students “Congratulations to each one of you, and thank you to the leaders, families and friends who have supported each recipient.”

 Naiyala Secondary School Year 13 students Ulamila Wati in sharing her experience said she reluctantly joined the programme but fell in love with it after it ignited a sense of caring in her.

 “I love community service the most in the programme not because I am genuinely compassionate but because of my affection to serve others,” she said.

 “This programme has also enabled me to communicate effectively and thoroughly improved my English,” Wati adds. 

Sharing similar sentiments,  Saint Vincent College Senior Prefect Patrick Yalimaiwai said the programme has inspired him to push for his full potential. 

“Being part of the programme was a personal challenge as it requires a lot of sacrifice, patience and good time management. All in all the programme requires that you have a humble heart and a teachable spirit because the journey is not for the faint hearted,” the Qelekuro lad said. 

In completing the programme Naiyala Secondary School and Saint Vincent College became part of only four schools in the Tailevu province to have participated and completed the bronze level of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award programme, the other two schools being Ratu Kadavulevu School and Wainibuka Secondary School.

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