Participants of the research symposium at the Emalus Campus conference room.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education (SOED), Emalus Campus and the Vanuatu Institute of Teacher Education (VITE) successfully hosted the inaugural ‘2017 Ni-Vanuatu Educators’ Research Symposium’ on 29 November 2017.
With the theme: Nurturing ad supporting our local educational researchers, the symposium was held at the Emalus Campus conference room and attracted a large number of participants, mostly Ni-Vanuatu teachers, educators, education officials, head teachers and principals from schools around Port Vila. Among the participants were two Ni-Vanuatu female students who are on the verge of completing their PhD studies in overseas universities.
According to Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of the SOED, the symposium is part of continuous efforts to nurture novice researchers in undertaking research.
“The research symposium is the result of pleasant working partnership between USP’s SOED and the Vanuatu Government through the Ministry of Education and VITE,” Professor Lingam stated.
The research symposium was spearheaded by the Emalus-based School of Education lecturer Dr Amton Mwaraksurmes.
The objectives of the symposium were to:
1. Provide an avenue for beginning Ni-Vanuatu educational researchers to share their work;
2. Identify Ni-Vanuatu educators who are doing research;
3. Identify particular areas of ongoing research; and
4. Trigger a way forward to encourage Ni-Vanuatu teachers to do research.
Different sessions were organised for the symposium including plenary sessions, research mentoring, panel discussions on ethics in educational research, concurrent sessions and ways forward.
Professor Lingam was also present at the symposium and acknowledged the participants for their attendance.
“Such initiatives are necessary in regional campuses for the benefit of all educational workers because research is now needed more than ever before, if we are to bring about improvements in our education systems as well as our professional practices,” said Professor Lingam.
Professor Lingam encouraged them to work with experienced researchers in order to gain the necessary knowledge and skills of doing research.
He further emphasised the need to start researching on something manageable and related to the work place rather than doing a large scale research and then face limitations and challenges.
He confirmed that in future Vanuatu will be placed in a better position with a few more people with PhD qualifications who could guide and assist young researchers in research endeavours. He commended the two female Ni-Vanuatu PhD scholars for their intellectual pursuits.
The three-day Research Symposium ended on a high note with plans for a bigger and better one for 2018. As part of Pacific traditions and customs, an engraved glass plaque was presented to each participant as a token of appreciation by Professor Lingam.
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