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Being in China for a full month being taught with unpretentious and simple artistic Chinese skills in paper cutting and producing handicrafts has been rewarding.

With two more weeks to go, the National University of Samoa (NUS) team representing Samoa at the Training Course on Paper Cutting and Traditional Folk Handicraft Production for Developing Countries surely have learned the basic skills needed.

THANK YOU: Fa’amausili Paletuatoa Toelupe acknowledging Xi’an Peihua University President and Chairman, Mr Jiang Bo

They can then tailor to suit and enhance knowledge on existing curriculum and apply skills acquired through classroom practices. As much as I would like to expand on how the training outcomes will be put into practice in media and journalism education, it all comes down to meeting the basic resource demands and fill in the pieces to where it best fits.

In this fast growing technological era where everything is becoming digital (with relevant software that can be bought online) to create the most fascinating or rather appropriate plain backdrops for a basic student television production, spending time to place those designs on paper and start cutting would be the least considered option for journalism educators and learners.

Unless for instance, a learning outcome is integrated in the television course for students to create their own backdrops using unique Samoan designs such as the ‘tatau’ or ‘siapo’, either on paper (a cheaper option) or stencil. 

It is worth exploring with of course, looking elsewhere for funds to acquire items such as (the right) scissors, thin coloured papers and glue.

Having a team of lecturers from other faculties such as the Teacher Education Department, on this trip, is a bonus.

For Laeimau Peru Tugaga, who teaches Food and Textiles, she is appreciative of new ideas that could be shared with training teachers whom will continue teaching children in primary schools as part of their teaching methods.

“The fashion industry is growing in Samoa and so as the cultural designs now increasingly becoming more modern,” Laeimau said.  “The art of cutting paper designs is still being practised today by some tailors whereas most no longer consider it an art, instead, cutting materials according to measurements that would either be accurate or not.”

Learning the knowledge and skills from where it started has been an exquisite experience for Laeimau.  This week, she was rewarded with a paper cut masterpiece as one of the four first prize getters whose sample artworks had impressed the trainers.

Caption: Laeimau Peru Tugagga with her prize from the organisers.

The opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge about preservation of Chinese culture through folk arts is an exceptional experience for me in this trip.

Switching backgrounds from journalism to learning and producing folk handicrafts on site was challenging for me in the first week.  I could still get it if I keep on practising.  I would definitely need time.   

Aside from my previous media training trips to China mainly covering for the news outlets I was working for or learn about theoretical and metropolitan views of the media worldwide, taking the classroom to the rural areas and workshops have been unique for this training.

More than fifty participants heard from professors in paper cutting, clay sculptures, dough modelling and rock painting over the last two weeks in Yangling and Xi’an Cities in Shaanxi Province.  A province that ‘is well known for making some of the most beautiful paper arts’ as noted by the founder of Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Phoebe A. Hearst at the University of California.

 

The group was also taken aback with an Art Gallery housed at China’s oldest and privately funded higher education institution, the Xi’an Peihua University.  Its main campus located in Xi’an (the capital city of Shanxi province), has an eight storey modern library with 2 million books in store which are also available in digital form.  It is open 24 hours a day especially to its postgraduate students with a wifi connection enabling students to connect to its databases and conduct research anywhere, on campus.

 

The university President and Chairman of Board of Directors, Mr Jiang Bo, welcomed the participants and took a two hour tour with the group. Dr Jiang is the fourth and youngest President in his family who took over from his grandfather. Investing millions of dollars in education is money well spent, according to Mr Bo. “My family believes in educating China by providing the most convenient learning environment for the young people who will eventually become great leaders and give back to the community.”

 

This week’s session will be shifted to China’s present city of Beijing for three days.

 

Presenting one's culture and history through paper cutting and production of folk handicrafts is an art in itself that anyone would need all the available resources to produce it. You would most probably have to have an eye of producing the most authentic and innovative techniques to advance in such a creative industry.

Paper cutting is one of China's most popular forms of decorative art that appeared during the Han Dynasty in 4th century AD after the Chinese official, Cai Lun invented paper in 105 AD.  Centuries later, it then spread to other parts of the world with countries and regions adopting their own cultural styles. Its origin derived from cutting patterns for rich Chinese embroideries and later developed into a folk art.

The production of these two forms of traditional art making have made China's ancient history more sustainable and have become one of the most successful exports for Shaanxi province alone.  Considered to be famous in traditional folk handicraft production, especially in paper cutting and shadow puppet; the International Exchange Centre in Yangling city, has reached out to developing countries in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific through a four week training course on paper cutting and traditional folk handicraft production.

Samoa is represented by a seven member delegation from the National University of Samoa (NUS) consisting of lecturers from the relevant faculties in Arts, Education, Business and Entrepreneurship.

Caption: NUS Team in China (l-r): Muliagatele Dr Rasela Tufue-Dolgoy (Senior Lecturer, Education Department),Laeimau Peru Tugaga (Teacher Education Lecturer), Faamausili Paletuatoa Toelupe

(Lecturer, Department of Management, Tourism and Hospitality),Matatumua Maluiao Leua Latai (Senior Lecturer, Department of Teacher Education),

Rosaiviti Solomona (Music Technical Assistant) and Cherimoniva Wright (Lecturer, Department of Teacher Education).

Currently underway in Yangling city, a Demonstration Zone just outside of Xi'an, the capital city of Shaanxi Province, the International Exchange Centre (I.E.C) is coordinating this training designed for participants to exchange and discuss the national folk arts in their own countries or the acquired folk arts based on their learning and visits across Yangling city and Shaanxi province.

Furthermore, participants will be able to enhance their friendly exchange with other developing countries and ultimately to apply their acquired practical techniques and skills in folk arts to promote the industry advancement in this field of their respective countries.

NUS participation at this training will hopefully introduce new ideas into using available resources that would require minimal spending from its stretched budget to implement project based assessments and activities in classrooms.

"I heartily wish to thank the Government and the good people of China for organizing such a training program.For us we welcome initiatives of this magnitudebecause it serves as a way of learning and exchanging ideas with people we meet within the creative industries," Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts, Ms Leua Latai told the gathering during the opening ceremony this week. "Thisis very timely and appropriate due to its relevance at this point of our various national developments."

Ms Latai, who has worked in the university showcasing students' artwork for close to 10 years, is optimistic that this training will come up with ways and low resourced means of recycling waste particularly paper, to assist attending participants from six developing countries. The training course will also present the participants with Chinese culture, history and making of paper cutting, history and production of clay sculpture, fabric embroidery, gongs and drums making, folk-arts of Central Shaanxi, women entrepreneurship and its significance. "It will go a long way to create employment opportunities, awareness in environmental protection which will help in waste management thereby ensuring hygiene and sanitation as well as encourage women entrepreneurs," Ms Latai added. 

"Furthermore, due to cultural diversity, this training will incorporate Chinese culture into African, Caribbean and Pacific culture thereby encouraging cultural diversity. We believe our time here in China will offer us the opportunity to gain from the Chinese experience and expertise in developing our various capacities that will enable us to createmeaningful impact in our developing countries."

For a better command of paper-cutting and folk handicrafts making technique, the participants will visit Qianyang Xinxing Handicrafts Cooperatives, Fengxiang Clay Sculpture Workshop, Xunyi Ku Shulan Paper Cutting Gallery, Wugong Xinxiu Embroidery Cooperatives, Liquan Yuanjiacun Village, Shaanxi Provincial Art Museum, Women's Culture Museum of Shaanxi Normal University and a visit to more sites in Beijing.

About I.E.C.

Serving the international issues relevant to Yangling, the only state-level agriculture hi-tech industries demonstration zone in China, Yangling I.E.C, founded in 1997, is an institute under the jurisdiction of the local government specialised in managing international agriculture exchanges and training programs. 

The Centre boasts of a dynamic staff community talented with team spirit and foreign languages command, and a consultant panel with the honorable involvement of authoritative experts and professors in relevant orientations of agriculture; combining of the two attained fruitful experiences in multilateral and bilateral international cooperation programs implementation and foreign-aid technique services. In recent years, supported by the enriched education and research provisions and talents superiorities from the two universities, 15 key provincial and ministerial laboratories, 18 national, provincial and ministerial research centres and engineering centers locally located, Yangling I.E.C has energetically assumed the duty of national foreign-aid workshops in dry-land farming, water-saving irrigation, soil and water conservation and environment control, variety breeding, agricultural management and technology extension. 

About 1200 ministerial principals, agri-technicians, and research and teaching specialists from 100 countries have presented in more than 57 sessions of the hosted foreign-aid training workshops.

It was in August 2011 when the China AID Dry-land Farming Technology Training Centre was officially launched in Yangling Demonstration Zone authorised by the Ministry of Commerce, P.R.C.

Caption: Some members of the NUS delegation in Yangling City, Shaanxi - CHINA

 

 

 

For the past few weeks, the International office has been hosting a Staff Mobility from Poland, Mrs. Joanna Denkowska from the Silesian University of Technology (SUT) who arrived on the 29th of May. Mrs. Denkowska has since been working with the International Coordinator, Iliganoa Matuu and is expected to return to Poland on the 21st June.

Mrs. Denkowska was selected under the CARIBU Project for one month staff mobility to NUS to work in the International office. CARIBU is an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 (EMA2) partnership program that aims at increasing academic mobility, research and capacity building opportunities between 8 EU universities (Belgium (2), Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Poland, Portugal, Romania) and countries from the ACP region (Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Gambia, Ghana, the Bahamas, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Samoa). The project has been funded with support from the European Commission and is devoted to creating a mutual forum for scientific cooperation, learning enhancement and exchange of best practices.

Mrs. Denkowska being the Head of the International Mobility Office of SUT has given NUS a unique opportunity to work together with a professional whose responsibilities includes all aspects of International Cooperation.  Although the Erasmus Mundus Program (CARIBU Project) has come to an end, it is through this staff mobility and with the network gained from EU and ACP partners that NUS hopes to strengthen international cooperation and inter-institutional cooperation.

According to the NUS International Coordinator, it has been a very productive and positive opportunity to be working alongside Mrs. Denkowska through the exchange of best practices, mutual sharing of knowledge and discussing possibilities for future collaborations.

Mrs. Denkowska has been able to learn about the HE system in Samoa, learn about scholarship opportunities available to NUS students and staff, and to propose the possibility to develop cooperation and capacity building opportunities between the two universities.

Also this time last year, NUS hosted a staff mobility from Romania, Mr. Serban Meza from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. Mr. Serban worked closely with the IT and Multimedia department and also shared best practices and presented a workshop on “Tools for creating multimedia content at the National University of Samoa - the Adobe after Effects platform” and also held a seminar entitled “Using ICT in Higher Education. Developing ICT Skills for University Professors - the Romanian experience in the www.Didatec.ro project”

In addition under the CARIBU Project, three NUS students, Robert Ugapo, Wanda Pau, and Rosanna Sua were able to study in Belgium for a 10 month exchange at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and returned to Samoa and graduated this year in April with their Masters in Education. There are two NUS staff members, Pauline Lee Hang and Victory Utumapu Milford currently studying under the CARIBU Scholarship for their full time Master’s Degree at VUB and are expected to complete within this year.

The CARIBU project has proven to be very effective and has had a positive impact for students and staff of the National University of Samoa.

Caption: from left to right. Iliganoa Matuu, Cheri M Robinson Moors, Mrs. Joanna Denkowska

 

The NUS Corporate Plan 2017-2018 (NUS, 2016), as part of Pillar2 on Teaching and Learning under Strategic Objective 3 Activity 2.3.1 states the need to “develop creative learning spaces and ICT to support and drive pedagogy”. One such innovative use of ICT to support and drive pedagogy was demonstrated on Tuesday 9th May at the Fale Samoa, NUS when the Innovation team from the Faculty of Science presented on the use of drones in higher education. The presenter Ms Tara Patu from the Computing department initiated the presentation with a simple explanation of what a drone is, its features, followed by examples of general uses and applications of the drone. The discussion then narrowed to some specific uses of the drone in education with such examples as:

  • aerial surveys
  • aerial maps
  • data collection in field trips
  • campus planning and campus advertisement

The presentation concluded with a live demonstration of the drone and its features.

The presentation by the Innovation team is part of the Faculty of Science Open and Distance Learning team (ODL) series of seminars and workshops on the use of technology-enabled learning, and is part of the NUS initiatives to promote teaching and learning and its delivery through ICT. Earlier seminars and workshops included those on:

  • instructional design on website design, and power point animation
  • technology workshops on the use of the Aptus, Open Systems, Google sites, Skype, Zoom and Moodle Learning Management System. 

The remaining seminars of the Innovation series will include:

  • the use of Raspberry Pi technology for educational purposes
  • Arduino technology
  • Demonstration of interactive Smart Boards

The current series of workshops and seminars have been funded from Education sector funds.

Caption:INNOVATION Team: top, from left to right: Namulau'uluJoseph Namulau'ulu, 

Mose Mose, Asc Prof Muagututi'a Ioana Chan Mow, Fo'ilagi Maua-Faamau, Vensel Chan

bottom, left to right: Ierome Tupuola, Tara Patu,Auimatagi Misioka Tanielu

A leading publishing company has expressed interest in a potential partnership with the National University of Samoa (NUS) in pushing areas of teaching, learning and research.

The NUS was recently visited by SAGE representatives Ms Rosalia Da Garcia and Ms Alicia Solofa earlier this week. 

It is one of the world’s leading publishers that provide a range of academic and professional resources and services. 

They publish across a broad range of subject areas with a commitment to inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers and students.

Ms Garcia, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Sales and Marketing (SAGE Singapore), along with Ms Solofa, Sales Executive, met with the Deputy Vice Chancellors of the University as well as staff representatives from the Faculty of Medicine and the University Library. 

During the visit, the pair introduced several opportunities for potential partnership with NUS. which strongly linked to the University’s core functions.

Ms Garcia expressed a passion for culture, community and enabling opportunities that brings positive impact on society through research.

SAGE Publishing supported various universities throughout the world with Research Awards, Annual Research Conference Attendance, as well as Research Capacity Building Initiatives. 

One of their most popular research tools included the online SAGE Research Methods resource.

The visit concluded with a presentation of gifts from publishing giant to NUS.

Two MacBook Air Laptops were presented to the Deputy Vice Chancellors for the NUS Library. 

The University plans to dedicate an area in its library for the use of these SAGE Research Laptops to both acknowledge the kind gesture from SAGE as well as support the promotion of research, online resourcing and learning.

Caption: Left to right: Alicia Solofa, Rosalia Garcia, TunumafonoTolugauvale Matai-Uatisone (Assistant Chief Librarian), Cheri M Robinson Moors (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Service), Peseta Dr Desmond Lee Hang (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Research), Dr Dyxson Hansel (Faculty of Medicine).

Latest News

Thumbnail Being in China for a full month being taught with unpretentious and simple artistic Chinese skills in paper cutting and producing handicrafts has been rewarding. With two more weeks to go, the National University of Samoa (NUS) team representing Samoa at the Training Course on Paper Cutting and...
Thumbnail Presenting one's culture and history through paper cutting and production of folk handicrafts is an art in itself that anyone would need all the available resources to produce it. You would most probably have to have an eye of producing the most authentic and innovative techniques to advance in...
Thumbnail For the past few weeks, the International office has been hosting a Staff Mobility from Poland, Mrs. Joanna Denkowska from the Silesian University of Technology (SUT) who arrived on the 29th of May. Mrs. Denkowska has since been working with the International Coordinator, Iliganoa Matuu and is...
Thumbnail The NUS Corporate Plan 2017-2018 (NUS, 2016), as part of Pillar2 on Teaching and Learning under Strategic Objective 3 Activity 2.3.1 states the need to “develop creative learning spaces and ICT to support and drive pedagogy”. One such innovative use of ICT to support and drive pedagogy was...
Thumbnail A leading publishing company has expressed interest in a potential partnership with the National University of Samoa (NUS) in pushing areas of teaching, learning and research. The NUS was recently visited by SAGE representatives Ms Rosalia Da Garcia and Ms Alicia Solofa earlier this week.  It is...
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