On 25 May 2018, 85 graduates of Vivekananda Technical Centre, Ramakrishna Mission, Fiji, received their certificates from Mr Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture as follows:
- 35 Farmers in certificate Level 2 in Production Horticulture (Batch 2)
- 33 Farmers in certificate Level 3 in Production Horticulture (Batch 1)
- 17 Automotive mechanics in Cert 3 of Maintenance of Hybrid Motor Vehicles
These are new programs developed by Vivekananda Technical Centre (VTC) and are accredited on the Fiji Qualifications Framework of the Fiji Higher Education Commission. The farmers are generally illiterate and do not have formal education. The farming training and the autmotive mechanics training is unique in Fiji in that it is provided by our instructors directly on the farms and in garages through competency-based assessment approach. As a result of the knowledge and skills being imparted, an increase in the income of farmers in the range of 100 to 300% has happened. Currently, our Fiji centre has contracted a consultant to independently audit all aspects of the VTC programs to identify areas for further improvement and development.
The Minister for Agriculture was very impressed with Fiji centre’s grassroots training approach and wishes to register all the VTC trained farmers on the Ministry’s database and further collaborate with Ramakrishna Mission through a formal MoU. The Fiji Government, in its National Budget, has been providing a handsome annual operating grant to Vivekananda Technical Centre for the last 3 years.