Talanga Series -  Institute of Education (IOE)

Talanga Series

Talanga in the Republic of Marshall Islands

USP RMI director, Dr. Irene Taafaki, and IOE team members met with key stakeholders on Majuro to bwebwenato, a Marshallese term for discussion and to further elaborate on USP's role in the Improved Quality Basic Education (IQBE) project. Three USP groups are involved in the project - USP RMI, School of Education, and IOE. The IOE team led by Dr Mo'ale 'Otunuku have been tasked with the primary responsibility to train 80 elementary school principals across four atolls in the RMI. Kommol tata (thank you in Marshallese).

Kava (Piper methysticum): Demythifying the Pacific's cultural keystone species | Dr Apo Aporosa, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Dr Aporosa’s talanga titled “Kava (Piper methysticum): Demythifying the Pacific’s cultural keystone species” was very informative. Dr Aporosa who is of Fijian heritage; from Naduri in Macuata, Fiji. He shared his early experiences with his grandfather teaching him key cultural values through taking part in kava making and drinking. His presentation provided evidence to counter some of the global misconceptions or ‘myths’ of kava as being the ‘ills’ of many health and social problems such as the cause of kidney failure, the removal of fathers from their responsibilities in the family, and the cause of accidents on the road, just to name a few. The audience, made up of a range of people, from government workers, academics, and university students, took advantage of the opportunity through their questions asked. We sincerely thank Dr Aporosa for his time and wish him well with the rest of the study.

What is special about inclusive education? | Associate Professor Ann Cheryl Armstrong, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji

Associate Professor Ann Cheryl’s presentation titled ‘What is special about inclusive education?’, intricately highlighted the need for educators to fully understand inclusive education in the wider sense. For most of us, our thinking about inclusive education was still around special and disabilities. However, as articulated by Ann Cheryl, based on her years of experience in Trinidad and Tobago, the UK, and Australia; inclusive education encompasses diversity and is framed in a myriad of ways that are inclusive of peoples’ diverse learning needs. Her intimate presentation with the crowd made up of educators at university and administrators at the ministerial and governance levels in Tonga, provided a learning environment fit for its purpose. A huge thank you to Associate Professor Ann Cheryl and the staff at USP Tonga Campus.

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