Navatu Secondary School in Savusavu Principal Ilikena Tomasi graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of the South Pacific Laucala Campus yesterday.
Tomasi told FijiLive that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he stayed determined in the quest to enhance his knowledge as an educator.
“It was tough in terms of sacrificing my time after school and attending online classes because I stay in Savusavu and it’s a long way to go to the Labasa campus to attend classes. The lecture was for one hour but we had to do a lot of reading. Sometimes we had around 40 pages of readings to do for our assignments.”
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, I found it quite challenging. We used to work from home and the connection was not in our favor. So I had to juggle a lot and every time I thought about quitting, my wife reminded me that leaders fight hard and I followed that.”
The 41-year-old said he wanted to enhance his knowledge as an educator to assist in the better management of the school.
“I had a BA so I needed to take the next step because I am a Principal and I needed to enrich my knowledge of my role as a leader. All the courses that I did will assist me in managing the school and it has given me various ideas in leading the school and helping the teachers to manage the students.”
“I was promoted to this role as a Principal recently and I want to continue my learning journey. Being a Principal is very challenging and different from my previous role as a teacher. We have to see that children and teachers are given a safe environment and in pursuit of that, I was able to put out methods where teaching and learning are easy.”
The father of five said without family support, nothing would have been possible for him in succeeding today.
“My wife is also teaching in the same school as me and she saw the struggles I did. She gave me time and space to do my studies after school. I had to sacrifice my time as a father but I knew my children are grown enough to understand that education is the key to success.”
“Sometimes I slept like 1 am and had to wake up at five to assist my wife in getting the kids ready for school and also prepare for the day ahead. I had to put in extra effort in my studies because I started this in 2021 and I really wanted to get this post-grad.”
“I have taken a break this semester and I have planned to return to USP in Semester 2 because I want to do my master’s in Education. It will be a big challenge because the next level requires a lot of hard work and time. After my master’s, I’m also thinking of doing development studies to gain more knowledge on policy and decision-making process.”