Education in Fiji
Joined Commonwealth: 1970 (rejoined in 1997 after ten-year lapse)
Population: 849,000 (2009)
GDP p.c. growth: 1.4% p.a. 1990-2008
UN HDI 2010: world ranking 86
Net primary enrolment: 91.7% (2008)
There are ten years of compulsory education starting at age six. Gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined 69.3% in 2007 with a primary female-male ratio of 0.99:1 and a secondary female-male ratio of 1.07:1 (2008). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 26:1 and for secondary 19:1 (2008). Some 91% of pupils complete primary school (2007). The school year starts in January.
There are about 50 further education institutions, including four teacher-training colleges. The main campus of the regional University of the South Pacific (founded 1968), Fiji Institute of Technology and Fiji School of Medicine are all located in Suva. Illiteracy among people age 15-24 is 0.7% (0.9% for males and 0.6% for females, 1996 census). The main campus of the University of the South Pacific is at Suva and there are two further campuses in the country, at Labasa and Lautoka.
Vocational programmes administered by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports have enabled unemployed youths to acquire training and skills in various trades.
Education remains critical for the development of the rural areas. Upgrading of rural schools and facilities is being supported with European Union funding.