The nation needs more scientists and with government’s continued support in the field, students from all schools around Fiji have been encouraged to take it up seriously.

These were sentiments of Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Land and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Siddiq Koya in his remarks to students gathered at the Chemical Society of the South Pacific Annual Awards Ceremony.

“To bring home the topic on science, we do have a shortage of experts in the science field. It is a field that the Fijian Government is strongly focusing on and dedicating resources,” said Minister Koya.

“We need to expand the number of experts in the field of science to assist our country grow.

“Whilst the Fijian Government has measures in place to address this issue, parents, teachers and guardians are once again reminded to encourage their children to take up science subjects in school.”

Minister Koya there is more emphasis on science scholarships as in the recent 2018/2019 National Budget where Government had expanded the National Toppers Scheme for students with another 340 full time scholarships, bringing the number to 970.

“Of these new scholarships, 20 will be awarded for overseas study and specialised courses that are not offered in Fiji and this includes forensic and genetic science,” he said.

“The Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board (TSLB) Award is another avenue where our students are encouraged to apply for programmes, which are Priority Areas for the Fijian Government for 2019 and science is one priority area.”

Minisiter Koya was pleased to be part of the Chemical Society of the South Pacific (CSSP) Annual Awards Ceremony – an occasion that marks a milestone in science education in Fiji.

“I see among us are promising young people, who would one day join the rank of distinguished scientists and academics. You are the future of Fiji and the Region – you will lead the nation into the new era,” he said.

Minister urged the students to do more for themselves and not just be part of a mundane desk job year in and out.

“Our youth should not only be job seekers, but they also need to be job creators,” he said.

“We want our young people to think outside the box, and make Fiji a hub of innovation for the Pacific, and the world. This is the time, that young people should realise that the world is full of opportunities and risks.”

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