Dedication of Books for Years 1 to 3
DEDICATION OF TEN READING BOOKS WRITTEN IN VOSA VAKAVITI FOR THE USE OF YEARS 1 TO 3
There is a general lack of reading material, written in the iTaukei language, that is needed to be used for the teaching of Vosa Vakaviti in both primary and secondary schools.
With this in mind, the Institute of Indigenous Studies Fiji (IISF), made up, in the main, of retired iTaukei the teachers, took it upon themselves to use their expertise and knowledge to write reading material, in this instance, specifically for the Year 1 to 3 students.
Working in close collaboration with the Curriculum Advisory Services of the Ministry of Education, the ten books that have just come out of the press were dedicated today in a moving ceremony by the Reverend Aisea Rarokoliwa at the Fijian Teachers Association Hall.
The authors are the late Ratu Semi Seruvakula, who wrote Jone Na Dautataro, the late Vika Maloni who wrote Na Keda Vuata, the late Tuipolotu Vuigakoto who wrote the books, Na Volivolitaki Ena Makete, O Ratou na Veitavaleni and Na Loga Voivoi nei Bubu Salote; Mosese Uluicicia who wrote Na Qoli Vonu, Alitia Sila Temo who wrote O Tomu kei Popi, Sainimere Rauqeuqe who wrote O Mosese kei Viliame and Vika Nasome who wrote Na Sisi Ni Qele.
The books are well illustrated by local artist Anare Somumu.
The CEO of the Institute of Indigenous Studies Fiji, Emitai Boladuadua, in the ceremony today acknowledged with deep gratitude the assistance given by the iTaukei Trust Fund Board (TTFB), in providing the funds for the production and printing costs of the ten books. Mr Boladuadua added that this funding assistance is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed between TTFB and IISF in August 2019.
The Institute is also grateful to the Ministry of Education for giving its approval to use these books in our schools next year.
A big vinaka vakalevu is also accorded to the Fijian Teachers’ Association for their guidance and assistance in case and kind for the last twelve years.
Some of the objectives of the institute include:
1. To promote the study and teaching of indigenous Fijian and Rotuman languages.
2. To promote and advance indigenous research approaches into iTaukei and Rotuman cultural knowledge, epistemologies, world views and heritages.
3. To support the recording and documentation of stories and cultural practices and the restoration and conservation of cultural forms and expressions.
In 2014, the institute put out a 364-page book, ‘Vuku ni Vanua – Wisdom of the Land’, which is currently used as a textbook for Years 10 to 13.
The book is the first of its kind to document important stories, histories, indigenous knowledge and epistemology of iTaukei people by a group of indigenous authors.
The book reflects the institute’s deep concern about keeping alive and recording, via the Vanua Research Framework, indigenous knowledge for younger generations.
The ten books dedicated today are another product of the work of the institute in furthering its objective in the recording, promotion and protection of language and culture of the indigenous Fijians.
Commenting on the importance of the landmark ceremony today, Aisake Taito, CEO of the iTaukei Trust Fund Board said,
“We are delighted to partner with the Institute of Indigenous Studies on this educational initiative. The childrens’ books will be resourceful learning materials for Primary School children from Classes 1 to 3, as they are simple to read and follow. This launch today meets one of TTFB’s key mandates in the promotion of our language, culture and traditions. As these childrens’ books are targeted at young children, who during their formative years will learn and grasp the basics of the Fijian language and culture. We hope this will add to a solid foundation in the continued adoption of our language not only
for children today, but for future generations as well”.