The University of the South Pacific Lautoka Campus has committed itself to bridge the language and cultural gap between the two major ethnic communities in the country.
As the entire nation rejuvenated to mark Fiji’s 50 years of independence on October 10, USP Lautoka Campus made a special pledge which will see the reintroduction of conversational itaukei and Hindi language courses from the campus in 2021.
USP Lautoka Campus Director Dr Pramila Devi revealed that it’s good to celebrate the achievements but at the same time it is important to review country’s success and challenges.
“As an educator my concern is that despite living together for so long our two major communities have not been able to come together in true unity.” “Where is the gap?” she asked.
“The itaukei and ethnic Indian population have been living together for so long but very low percentage of both the population is able to speak each other’s language.
“I strongly believe that language is the foundation of any community and once people living together are able to understand and express in each other’s language they will be able to appreciate more of each other’s culture and existence.”
The campus director emphasized that understanding and conversing in each other’s language becomes the most integral component of a successful and peaceful society.
Dr Devi informed that keeping this in mind USP Lautoka Campus is reintroducing conversational itaukei and Hindi courses through its Continuing and Community Education programme at a reasonable cost for the general public from next year.
She revealed that they are also prepared to provide in-house training for bigger organizations who want to improve communication level among their employees.
Meanwhile, as part of Fiji’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations USP Lautoka campus had three special events. Staff from the main campus got together to celebrate the occasion while at USP Pacific TAFE Namoli campus Early Childhood Education Level III students hosted a function for students and staff which Dr Pramila graced as the guest speaker. The USP Lautoka Campus Student Association also hosted a celebration while practicing social distancing.
USP Lautoka Campus staff at Fiji Day celebration