Pacific TAFE student Savita Shiwangi Devi with her father and aunt during the graduation ceremony at the National Gymnasium on the 19 September 2019.
Among the hundreds of graduating student at the recent University of the South Pacific (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE), a 29-year-old Savita Shiwangi Devi who has been visually impaired from birth was finally achieving one of her dreams.
She graduated with a Diploma of Office Management from Pacific TAFE at the FMF Gymnasium on 19 September, 2019.
She revealed that all her hopes of furthering her education would have ended if USP Pacific TAFE did not have a centre in Labasa.
“I come from a farming background and it was already difficult task for my family to afford my initial years of studies in Suva,” she said.
“Travelling to Suva to pursue my tertiary education seemed almost an impossible scenario as taking a family member with me for guidance was a very costly exercise.”
Ms. Devi also stressed that USP Pacific TAFE also provided her with an opportunity to work as an intern at the Pacific TAFE Labasa Centre.
“I was fortunate enough to work as an intern at the USP Pacific TAFE Labasa Centre,” she said.
“It was an amazing learning experience which will surely assist me in finding employment in the near future.”
Ms. Devi’s father, Mr. Lachmi Prasad a sugarcane farmer of Korovoli Seqaqa was overjoyed with his daughter’s achievement and thanked USP Pacific TAFE for providing such an opportunity to her daughter.
“I will be forever indebted to Pacific TAFE for providing such an excellent opportunity to my daughter,” he said.
He further stressed that his family was his pillar of strength at times of need as his wife had passed away in 2016 and he had to take care of Savita.
“I also thank the government of the day for providing assistance to Savita and I would also like to acknowledge the support rendered by my immediate family members in caring for Savita,” he said.
While addressing the USP Pacific TAFE students, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice – Chancellor and President of USP said the September graduation saw a 1735 graduates receiving their certificates, diplomas and degrees, one of the highest so far for USP.
“Of the overall 1735 graduands, I am pleased to announce that sixty-five percent (65%) are females. This is an increase of five percent (5%) compared to our last graduation held earlier in March this year,” said Professor Ahluwalia.
“I am proud to mention that this afternoon under the Pacific TAFE programme, we have a total of 18 graduands who will be receiving 2 awards each.”
A total of 1140 students from The University of the South Pacific (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 Pacific Technical & Further Education (Pacific TAFE).
The remaining 595 students graduated from the Faculty of Business & Economics (FBE) on 20 September, bringing the total number of graduates to 1735 in this year’s second graduation ceremony.
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