A SERIES of workshops is being organised by the University of Fiji's Centre for Indigenous Studies to produce education material in the Fijian vernacular for students in Form Seven and Foundation Studies.
The first of the series of workshops concluded yesterday after a week-long collaboration on Fijian culture and way of life.
University Fellow in Fijian Studies Rejieli Racule said the participants were mostly retired teachers and civil servants with vast knowledge of Fijian culture and literature.
"The workshop is one of three that we have organised centred on producing materials for Form Seven and Foundation students," she said.
"The participants have a lot of knowledge, wisdom and years of experience in the community.
"We hope to collect all the written materials they have produced at the workshop and turn it into maybe resource materials or a textbook for language and literature studies in Fijian.
"There are several materials in the Fijian language that is used in the school curriculum but it is mostly for primary schools.
"There are very few materials in the Fijian vernacular for secondary schools which is why this workshop aims to produce those written materials for students in Form Seven and those attending Foundation studies."
Ms Racule said the language and literature materials in the Fijian vernacular would cover a wide range of genres from short stories to poetry, expository and non-fiction materials.
She said the workshop was also aimed at creating awareness on the importance of the written word in Fijian.
"It is a very challenging task. We are very much an oral community when it comes to the Fijian language and the written form is usually very different from the oral use of language," she said.
Ms Racule said they hoped to produce the collection of written Fijian language and literature materials at the end of the workshop schedule.