The launch of 10 Indigenous storybooks last Wednesday is expected to help boost the study and teaching of Indigenous languages.
Speaking at the book launch, Fiji Institute for Indigenous Studies Executive Director Emitai Boladuadua said the book launch would foster and advance indigenous research approaches to cultural knowledge, epistemologies, iTaukei and Rotuman worldviews and heritages and their support. the recording and documentation of cultural histories and practices and the restoration and conservation of cultural forms and expressions.
“There is a general lack of reading material, written in the iTaukei language, which is necessary for teaching Vosa Vakaviti in primary and secondary schools,” Boladuadua said.
“With this in mind, the Fiji Institute of Indigenous Studies (IISF), comprised primarily of retired iTaukei, teachers took it upon themselves to use their expertise and knowledge to write reading material, in this case, specifically for year 1 to 3 students.
The books are well illustrated by local artist Anare Somumu and written by the late Ratu Semi Seruvakula, Vika Maloni, Tuipulotu Vugakoto, Mosese Uluicicia, Alitia Sila Temo, Sainimere Rauqeuqe and Vika Nasome.
Meanwhile, Aisake Taito, Managing Director of the iTaukei Trust Fund Board (TTFB), said he was delighted to partner with the Fiji Institute of Indigenous Studies on this educational initiative.
“As these children’s books are aimed at young children, who during their formative years will learn and grasp the basics of Fijian language and culture,” Taito said.
The Institute of Indigenous Studies (under the banner of the Retired Fijian Teachers Association) in partnership with the board of the iTaukei Trust Fund launched the 10 Fijian-language storybooks.