After a lapse of two years, The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Tonga Campus held their renowned Ha’amonga Awards in recognition of the hard work of the students who achieved excellent results with high GPAs.
The awards were an annual event but took a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have been revived this year with a total of 155 awardees. The Ha’amonga Awards are an in-house award (USP-Tonga Campus only), established to recognise the hard work of the students achieving excellent results and a way to encourage or inspire students to study harder to achieve better results.
Campus Director Dr Robin Havea said, “I am very pleased that we have the 2022 Ha’amonga Awards where we acknowledge the high achievers in the past semesters. We were not able to hold any award-giving ceremonies last year due to COVID-19 restrictions”.
“This is important because we would like to continue the encouragement and support of our students. I also wish to congratulate all the awardees even though some had left for Fiji to continue their studies there,” Dr Havea added.
Tonga College ‘Atele teacher, Akanesi Vakapuna who was also the Awardees Representative shared her journey during the event.
“I am a full-time mother to five children, and I am also a full-time secondary teacher teaching at an all-boys school. My struggles were real, and I struggled to fulfil my duties at home and school,” she said.
Mrs Vakapuna added, “Regardless of these responsibilities, I am still here, studying and trying to be a better student. I guess what I am trying to say, especially to our young students who are still learning, is that you can do this! You can achieve excellent GPAs for all your courses. No matter what struggles life brings to your door, you just have to prioritise your time”.
Pacific TAFE student and award recipient, Selesia Uele said, “This award means a lot to me, as it highlights the hard work that I have put into my studies and what it holds for me in the future. It means a lot to me because it made my parents proud”.
“I would like to encourage all students not to be shy to ask questions. Always ask when you do not understand something. Set a suitable study timetable and follow through with it and be consistent but remember to take a break.”
“Lastly, stay motivated, be confident in yourself, and do not give up when things get hard,” he added.