Gone are the days when students had to find the lecturers and a classroom, the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) is out there now to find students.
That is the notion behind the university’s vision to take its courses and programmes for residents in Savai’i.
The Vice Chancellor and President of N.U.S. Prof. Fui Asofou So’o this week officially opened the second course through the Oloamanu Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (O.C.P.D.C.E.) called the Certificate in Adult Teaching (C.A.T.) for the teachers in Savai’i.
“Having the university courses and programmes offered to our people in Savaii is one of the long term visions of our forefathers who saw the need to establish Samoa’s university,” Professor Fui told the C.A.T. class. “Instead of the traditional classroom learning where students would find the lecturers and a classroom, N.U.S is expanding its services by bringing those needs to our people in Savaii.”
“It is an opportunity to also assist you with your current jobs and to ensure that you find time to meet deadlines for your respective assessments.”
“This is the step to the right direction and there is still a long way to go for other relevant courses and programmes to be offered in a similar mode of teaching,” Prof. Fui added.
The C.A.T. is now being offered through the Open Distance Learning (O.D.L.) per semester.
O.D.L. is usually thought of as a medium of teaching and learning using modern technology so that teachers or students do not have to be together in the classroom.
With the growth of distance learning programs, the online format has led to a growing interest in learning among adult learners and in continuing the pursuit of their educational goals. However, the C.A.T. materials including a Course Book and Assessment Summary have been provided for the teachers to ease their learning journey.
Due to the late start in offering this course from the beginning of this academic year, two university staff members are now running a two week intensive C.A.T. training with 44 teachers from Don Bosco Technical Centre in Salelologa and Vaiola College.
Father. Mosese Tui who conducted the opening prayer acknowledged the initiative by the N.U.S for hearing Don Bosco’s plea of many years.
“It is a dream come true for me and my staff as we had long requested for this type of training for our staff to enhance their knowledge and skills as teachers,” Father Mosese said.
Given time and commitment given to the university’s limited resources, Professor Fui believes that this is a step to the right direction and can only get better. “The challenge for the university at the same time is to revise courses so that we are able to offer it via the O.D.L. mode.”
The C.A.T. aims to develop an understanding of principles of adult teaching and learning and begin to apply these to your own teaching or training situation. It is relevant for those wishing to gain qualifications in tertiary teaching adult training. It is also for those wishing to update or revitalise facilitation and teaching skills. It was designed particularly for Educators in Post School Education and Training, Community educators and trainers as well as staff developers or trainers.
For more information about C.A.T. courses, visit our website www.nus.edu.ws, Facebook - www.facebook.com/TheNationalUniversityofSamoaor twitter@NUSSamoa
*Misa Vicky Lepou is a media and journalism lecturer and website news administrator at N.U.S.