USP vice chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra, left, with Fijians Trust Fund Board CEO Isoa Kaloumaira after signing the agreement in Suva
Those interested in learning the Fijian language and culture at the University of the South Pacific but away from the campus can now enroll for the course as it will soon be offered online.
This has been made possible after USP and the Fijians Trust Fund Board signed a partnership agreement yesterday aspiring to promote and protect the Fijian language and culture.
The acting Dean of Faculty of Arts and Law, Akanisi Kedrayate, said the target group was those the teaching in rural areas.
"The course is already offered face-to-face with an estimate of 20 students enrolled in the course. We are considering a blended approach since while a good number of students show interest taking it on campus, there is a high demand for distance learning," she said. "The problem is there are many teachers of Fijian language in schools without proper qualification. This course will help them get necessary qualifications since we will offer courses at certificate, diploma and degree levels."
She said the online course could help enroll another 20 to 30 students.
FTFB's chief executive Isoa Kaloumaira said the project served part of their mandate in preserving Fijian culture and traditions.
"The memorandum signed today includes the funding of salary of a senior lecturer and a lecturer. This will only be for the first year and a review will be conducted on the progress of the course," Mr Kaloumaira said.
USP's vice chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra said they had plans to include modern technology in teaching techniques, including satellite, broadband and mobile technology in future.