Free lunch for some Fiji schools, cyclone classroom damage $42m

TISI Sangam has introduced free school lunches for Rakiraki and Ba. Image: FBC News
By Maggie Boyle in Suva

Students attending schools managed by TISI Sangam, Fiji’s largest non-government organisation, in some cyclone-ravaged areas will be provided lunch for a month.

General secretary Damend Gounder said Sangam would be giving lunch to those attending school in Rakiraki and Ba.

“Coming in Rakiraki, we’re going to give them lunch as well … Sangam will provide lunch and schools in Ba as well.”

Gounder said this relief would be ongoing to assist students whose homes had been damaged severely by “monster” cyclone Winston.

Formed in Fiji in 1926, TISI Sangam is also the largest non-public provider of education with 26 schools, a nursing academy and many pre-schools.  There are countless branches and temples around Fiji.

Students went back to school yesterday.

Classroom damage
The Fiji Times reported that the estimated damage to schools around the country after preliminary assessment stood at at F$41.69 million (NZ$29.7 million).

National Disaster Management Office director Akapusi Tuifagalele said the amount was expected to rise as assessments were still being carried out around the country.

About 240 schools have been reported damaged or completely destroyed.

Tuifagalele said in the Eastern Division, 19 schools from Lomaiviti were affected at an estimate cost of $6.73m while damage to the 12 schools in Lau was $5.75m.

Meanwhile, students of the University of the South Pacific enrolled for classes at the Laucala Bay, Lautoka and Labasa campuses were asked to report to their respective classes from today.

While those attending classes at Laucala Bay campus will have to wait until tomorrow before resuming classes, those enrolled for classes in Lautoka were asked to report to the Lautoka campus today. For those in Labasa, classes have already resumed.

This was confirmed by the vice-chancellor and president of USP Professor Rajesh Chandra.


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