NUS First Savaii graduation celebrated
A significant and historic moment to remember in the university’s history book for years to come was celebrated on Friday with its first graduation for teachers held in Salelologa, Savaii.
By bringing not only N.U.S. classrooms to Savaii where the need is at but its celebratory moments as such for the Savaii residents to enjoy.
About 12 teachers from Don Bosco Technical Centre (Salelologa), Vaiola College and Mata’aevave College graduated following a year-long training in completing two Certificate in Adult Teaching (C.A.T) Courses in Teaching and Learning (101 & 102).
“Graduation is a time of completion of another; however, it is also a time of celebration of achievement and a beginning for the new graduates.” That was an emotional tribute shared by Lisone Tonumaipe’a, who addressed the gathering on behalf of the graduates during the C.A.T graduation ceremony held at the Don Bosco Technical Centre Hall, in Salelologa Savaii on Friday.
Mr Tonumaipe’a, who is a teacher at Mata’aevave College, said: “It is not the end of what we have been taught, but the beginning of what we are set out to do next as professional teachers.”
From about 44 teachers who first enrolled, only 12 have graduated due to challenges facing the learners including personal, professional and family commitments.
A continuing challenge facing such type of programme targeted for adult learners as cited by the Acting Manager for the Oloamanu Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (O.C.P.D.C.E), Tauvaga Va’ai, has not been easy to manage.
Despite of all other contributing factors, a living testimony of what came off in the end as a special moment, will go down in that history book.
It was even a more distinct event when the university had its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Fui Asofou So’o and official party attend to the celebration as always with ceremonial protocols at its annual graduation ceremonies.
“I must congratulate all the graduates today. You deserved it. Your families and friends deserve to rejoice this special occasion,” Prof. Fui said. “It is also a moment for the university to remember as this is our first graduation in Savaii.”
“Indeed what our forefathers have envisioned setting up our own national university for the people to access higher learning opportunities and receive quality education and training.”
“We will not stop here. The university is willing to continue this service for our people in Savaii. Though we see challenges here and there, but I am happy that it is all the sacrifices (facing staff and learners) have been paid off at this graduation.”
This is the second university course offered through the Open Distance Learning (O.D.L) through the Oloamanu Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (O.C.P.D.C.E) for the teachers in Savaii. It was launched in April this year.
The C.A.T is now being offered through the Open Distance Learning (ODL) per semester. Its registration for next year’s programme also took place in Salelologa immediately after the graduation.
Mr. Vaai in his end of year report during the graduation acknowledged principals of colleges whose staff graduated for allowing time out from their usual schedule to attend the programme.
“We must also acknowledge the huge support by Fr. Mosese Vitolui Lui, for enabling this programme to use its facilities as well allowing the majority of Don Bosco Technical Centre staff.”
Those graduated from the first C.A.T Programme in Savaii, included Feviiai Alesana (Vaiola College), Sera Aloi (Don Bosco), Kasileta Leilua (Don Bosco), Mikaele Seluka (Don Bosco), Taufagalupe Milo (Don Bosco), Masepi Mulivai (Don Bosco), Iose Penei (Don Bosco), Christina Naomi Purcell (Vaiola College), Ferila Sae (Vaiola College), Marianive Violeta Sagato (Don Bosco), Lisone Tonumaipe’a (Mata’aevave College) and Peato Vaoliko (Don Bosco).
The C.A.T aims to develop an understanding of principles of adult teaching and learning and begin to apply these to your own teaching or training situation. It is relevant for those wishing to gain qualifications in tertiary teaching adult training. It is also for those wishing to update or revitalise facilitation and teaching skills. It was designed particularly for Educators in Post School Education and Training, Community educators and trainers as well as staff developers or trainers.
(*Misa Vicky Lepou is a media and journalism lecturer and website news administrator at NUS)