Ms. Debra Tiko and Ms. Alowesi Tokadola graduated with a Certificate III in Early Childhood and Education (ECE) from The University of the South Pacific (USP), Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) graduation ceremony held at the National Gymnasium on 19 September, 2019.
“Life is full of challenges and you need to have the right mindset to deal with them,” said an elated Debra Tiko after graduating with a Certificate III in Early Childhood and Education (ECE) from The University of the South Pacific (USP), Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) graduation ceremony held at the FMF Gymnasium on 19 September, 2019.
Ms. Debra who is currently pursuing Certificate IV in ECE at the USP Pacific TAFE Lautoka Centre said she faced numerous challenges along the way.
“I have four children and as a mother, my primary responsibility is to take care and nurture for my family,” she said.
“There were times when I had to wake up early to prepare my family’s breakfast and lunch and catch the early morning bus to the Centre.”
She further commented that the ECE was a growing demand in the western division.
“I decided to come back to school after a span of 10 years,” said Ms. Debra.
“Currently there is a huge demand for ECE teachers in the Western Division and I am glad that Pacific TAFE provides this programme in Lautoka.”
Alowesi Tokadola who also graduated with a Certificate III in Early Childhood and Education (ECE) from USP Pacific TAFE shared similar sentiments.
“My major challenge was travelling all the way from Ba each day to attend classes – but I am glad I did as I now have certificate to show for my dedication and hard work,” she said.
The mother of three highlighted that the ECE programme offered by USP Pacific TAFE Lauotka had provided her with a second chance.
“Pacific TAFE provides you an opportunity to live your lives to fulfil your dreams again,” she said.
“It provides you a chance to find employment and to support your family. Doing ECE was never challenging as the course facilitators and coordinators made life easy by providing regular feedbacks and assistance.”
Another graduate from Pacific TAFE, 32-year-old, Ratu Lawa Vuna Naivulavula was proud to be achieving Diploma of Human Resources Management (Level 5). He said, he has finally fulfilled his family’s dream.
Ratu Lawa Vuna Naivulavula graduated with a Diploma of Human Resources Management (Level 5).
“It was a tough journey but I was able to accomplish everything. It was a challenge because I was a working student and I had to rush to school after work. I appreciate the help of the facilitators and tutors,” he said.
Mr. Naivulavula is currently a recruitment auditor for Supercharged Energy.
He said, he decided to study at USP because of the standard of education and the highly qualified lectures.
Meanwhile USP Pacific TAFE Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Hasmukh Lal said Pacific TAFE continued to strive for excellence and was setting a benchmark in further education sector regionally.
“USP Pacific TAFE recorded the highest number of graduates this year and it is a very proud moment for us as a section,” he said.
As alluded to by the Vice- Chancellor and President, Professor Ahluwalia, we have 18 graduates who received two awards each – one of the other interesting fact is most of Pacific TAFE programmes are internationally recognised or accredited.”
He further acknowledged and congratulated all graduates and wished them the very best in their future endeavors.
“I would like to convey my appreciation to all our graduates and wish them the best in the future,” he said.
“At Pacific TAFE quality is paramount for us – we are always in pursuit to provide students with best resources and facility and our accredited programmes and qualification provide us the cutting edge. I would also like to acknowledge the support of our sponsors funding our students especially for the Professional Diploma in Business Management and those that have been providing students with academic assistance.”
A total of 1735 students from USP graduated in a ceremony. These included 258 students from the Faculty of Arts, Law & Education (FALE); 202 from the Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment (FSTE); and 680 from the Pacific Technical & Further Education (Pacific TAFE).
The remaining 595 students graduated from the Faculty of Business & Economics (FBE) on 20 September.
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