Suva – Today U.S. Ambassador Marie C. Damour launched the second cohort of the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) in collaboration with Vision Fiji. The Embassy launched the first Access cohort in the Pacific in Fiji in 2020, and this second cohort will continue the success of that program, as it expands to two locations and increases the number of students from 24 to 40.
At the launch event, Ambassador Damour said, “By investing in teachers and children, we are investing in all our futures. We are opening new doors for young people, and with increased educational and professional options, they will be well positioned to bring increased prosperity to their families and communities.”
Through the Access program, the U.S. Embassy is partnering with Vision Fiji and two secondary schools to bolster students’ English, communication, and leadership skills. Four local English teachers will guide the 40 participating students through a supplemental English course that will also teach life skills and offer engaging cultural activities. This cohort includes students and teachers at Gospel High School in Suva and at Ratu Latianara College in Korovisilou, and for the first time, includes students with disabilities. The Access program aligns with the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy, which promotes people-centered development, emphasizing inclusive education as a key component for promoting resilience, growth, and well-being in the region.
In addition to increasing the students’ skills, the Access program also provides training and resources for the teachers, including a week-long Access training in May 2023 in the Philippines.
Access provides a foundation of English language skills to talented secondary school students around the world through after-school classes in their home countries. Access programs give participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Since its inception in 2004, approximately 200,000 students in more than 90 countries have participated in the Access Program.