Ms Salote Rokotogalevu, Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education and Care programme for USP Pacific TAFE with students from Kiribati.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) has commenced four (4) cohorts in skills based programmes in Kiribati. This is to respond to immediate skills capacity needed by the Kiribati Government.
The first one to start is Diploma of Accounting (level 5) which reflects accounting job roles in financial services and other industries requiring accounting support functions. The course addresses accounting processes and standards for administrative support roles within an organisational setting. A total of 88 students have been enrolled for the cohort in Semester 2, 2017.
For the Diploma of Accounting (level 5), the Kiribati Public Service Office (PSO) approached Pacific TAFE showing their interest to enrol students in Diploma in Accounting.
They were interested in the programme to be delivered to them in a shorter period of time without compromising quality, therefore, Pacific TAFE organised a cohort based programme to successfully deliver the content to these interested students.
The students are working in the accounting field with no qualification in this area. The programme will thus, provide these students with a qualification; improve their skills; and enhance their knowledge and understanding on accounting related tasks.
Ms Selafina Ioakim, Pacific TAFE coordinator at the Kiribati Campus highlighted that an iKiribati student, who had completed Diploma in Accounting at the Lautoka Campus was able to successfully find employment with the Kiribati Ministry of Finance.
“This led to the realisation of the importance of Diploma in Accounting programme in Kiribati,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary’s Office of the Ministry of Finance is sponsoring the programme so that staff is able to upgrade their qualification and contribute more effectively in the workplace.
Two other cohorts are also currently underway in Kiribati, including Certificate IV in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and Certificate III in Community Development.
The Certificate IV in ECEC has a total of 60 students enrolled, who all hail from Bikenibeu, the largest Catholic Parish in Tarawa.
Many of these students are teaching at pre-school level in the 17 pre-schools of the Parish.
In offering this programme as a cohort, Pacific TAFE is assisting in the provision of formal training that will provide the 60 students with a university qualification in early childhood education and care.
Certificate III in Community Development was also taken up by the same Parish.
Parish priest, Reverend Ipasio Sionepoe said the qualifications are recognised as a way of uplifting the lives of his people.
Rev. Sionepoe encouraged his 30 catechists, to take up this programme that will enhance their knowledge of community development processes, strategies and skills.
Catechists, who have received specific training to assist the priest in his role, will now be receiving training that will further enhance their roles as community leaders who are better informed and equipped in developing their people.
Rev. Sionepoe is already considering furthering the education of pre-school teachers after the completion of Certificate IV by having them take up the Diploma in ECEC Level 5.
In September, the fourth cohort will be launched in Diploma of Project Management, which is a direct outcome of the government of Kiribati addressing the need for public servants to become more efficient and effective particularly around the area of managing and completing projects.
A cohort of 50 has been singled out for this qualification.
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