Statement by the Supervisor of Elections

Introduction to Elections:

A Learning Module for Year 10 Social Science

11/01/18 – SUVA

The Attorney General and Minister for Education, Members of the Electoral Commission, Permanent Secretary for Education, Representatives from the Ministry of Education, Staff of the Fijian Elections Office and Invited guests;

Bula vinaka and a very warm welcome to you all.

The Fijian Elections Office 2015 -2019 in Goal 9, Objective 1 under Activity 31 required the FEO to deliver voter education program targeting newly eligible voters.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce ‘Introduction to Elections: A Learning Module for Year 10 Social Science Students’

This module substitutes the existing portion of the year 10 social studies curriculum on elections.

The two-week course consists of five lessons which culminates with a mock election based on framework similar to that of the Fijian General Election.

The five lessons are:

  1. Lesson 1- Introduction to Elections;
  2. Lesson 2- Why Vote?
  3. Lesson 3- The Fijian Elections Office [FEO];
  4. Lesson 4- Conduct of Elections in Fiji; and
  5. Lesson 5- Mock Election

Ladies and Gentlemen, Lesson 5, the Mock Election, is a culminating activity which will allow students to conduct a mock election. The students will be required to be the Student Supervisor of Elections, Presiding Officer, Polling Day Workers, Media Official, Polling Agents, Observer and voters.

This mock election exercise gives students a glimpse into the Fijian electoral process by simulating a polling station, with mock ballot boxes, voting screens and ballot papers, and then carrying out seat allocation.

To prepare for this exercise the FEO has printed 20,000 copies of the Students Workbook which will be given every Year 10 student and 40,000 ballot papers has also been printed. The FEO has also developed a Teachers Manual, a Mock Election Kit and a full time dedicated website for this curriculum. We have linked the website to some social media sites to generate interest.

Ladies and gentlemen, this website as per our standards requirements has disability friendly features which will help students with special needs to access information.

For example, students will be able to utilize the text-to-speech function which will enable students to listen to the notes instead of reading it.

The FEO has also developed videos to compliment the teacher lesson on Voting, Counting and Seat Allocation. Since the FEO recruits election officials from the general public, we are looking forward to some with ‘in-class’ experience soon.

The Fijian Electoral Education Centre will conduct nationwide short trainings for social science teachers to ensure that there is consistency in the delivery of the content. There is also a section for teachers on the FEO Voter education website to provide access to more materials that may refine their delivery of the materials.

I would like to thank Australian civic education and democratic governance practitioner, Yvonne Goudie, who assisted FEO Research Officer Ravneel Chand in the development of this curriculum and its tools.

Their efforts are in line with the Electoral Commission’s theme, ‘Raising the Standards in the Delivery of Elections in Fiji’ and this is something we are very proud of.

This year, we expect more than 16,100 students to go through this course in Term 1.

Thank you and vinaka vakalevu.