Dr Rosiana Lagi (far left) with teachers at South Taveuni Secondary School in Taveuni.
Teachers currently pursuing their studies at The University of the South Pacific (USP) particularly those who are teaching English and Geography, achieved ninety to hundred per cent (90-100%) pass rates in their respective teaching subject areas during the 2016 external exams.
The observation was made recently following an enrolment and marketing drive in Taveuni and remote Savusavu on Fiji’s second largest island of Vanua Levu, by staff of USP’s Labasa Campus led by Dr Rosiana Lagi, from the 25-30 January 2017.
According to Dr Lagi, Head Teachers and Principals of schools that they visited commended USP students who are teaching in their schools adding that their studying at USP has helped in their performance as teachers and subsequently, their students.
She said that the Principal of Niusawa Secondary School proudly stated that their Form 7 English teacher, Mr. Hedstrom, a USP student, managed to have a hundred per cent (100 %) pass rate in his Form 7 English Fiji Seventh Form Examination (FSFE).
Another USP student and Geography teacher, Mrs Sereana Vuniwaqa attained a ninety per cent (90%) pass rate in Geography in the FSFE.
“I can see that studying with USP has made a lot of difference in their teaching and our student’s academic performance and I am encouraging all teachers to enrol at USP,” the principal said.
Dr Samuela Bogitini, Labasa Campus Director said this revelation is supported by one of the earlier research findings in the 1990s that in-service education programmes pursued individually by teachers are likely to produce higher level student achievements.
Dr Lagi explained that during her trip to Taveuni, apart from visiting and speaking to teachers at the Primary and Secondary schools, she managed to speak to Form 7 students at Taveuni South Secondary School and parents and community members at Somosomo village.
She further noted that there are parents in our communities that still do not know much about what USP has to offer, thus visiting more communities during marketing and enrolment drives are advisable.
Dr Akanisi Kedrayate, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) said the School of Education (SOE) is working hard to improve the quality of teachers and their qualifications so that teaching quality in schools can be uplifted and improved.
She noted that this year the SOE is putting in more effort in reaching out to teachers in rural and maritime schools not only in Fiji but in the region to offer Bachelor of Education (BEd) primary and BEd secondary programmes for cohorts not only for those who have attained Diplomas and Certificates, but also those who are untrained.
“The quality of teaching and teachers is an issue that we have to address more urgently this year,” she added.
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