Catholic Education has a new Director.
He is Father Mikaele Tuimavave (SM) who takes over from former Director Aeau Chris Hazelman.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Fr. Tuimavave said he is humbled by the new role but he also knows the road ahead is not easy.
“I humble myself before God for He has brought me to where I am today and all things are possible when we trust in the Lord,” Fr. Tuimavave.
“I also want to thank Achibishop Alapati Lui Mataeliga especially Aeau for all the hard works the past years.
Looking ahead, Fr. Mikaele is optimistic.
“I’m currently looking into bringing back sisters (taupou sa) and fathers (patele) to teach in our schools like the past years,” he said.
“As we all know, they were the ones that raised many of the good leaders in the government, families and villages of the past and today.
“They had worked from their heart and sacrificed their times while carrying out their duties from time to time while served Samoa through Catholic schools.
“I think it’s time to go back to the root of good education in Catholic schools for a change.”
The professional development of teachers is also on top of the Director’s agenda.
“It is critical to have ongoing and regular programmes for teachers as well for they’re the ones that provide many good opportunities for students.
“Most importantly is the development of students in different fields of education.”
Fr. Mikaele said the way forward is bound to be fraught with challenges but he believes God will make a way.
“All callings are from God and I have faith and trust in him for this new journey.
“I’m now ready to serve to the best of my ability for I am just a servant and I am very humble by this calling.
“And we know that all things work together when we support each other to the best of our ability.
The appointment of Fr. Mikaele Tuimavave became effective at the beginning of the month.
But the Catholic education system is not new to him.
Fr. Mikaele attended Marist Brothers Primary School and graduated from St Joseph’s College.
After several years working in the private sector, he entered the Marist Fathers, undertook his training for the priesthood at the Regional Seminary in Fiji and was ordained in 2006.
Fr. Mikaele worked as a teacher at Chanel College, Moamoa for three years before returning to Fiji to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Education.
From 2012-2015 he was Principal of Chanel College.
In 2016, he undertook a sabbatical renewal programme at the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila, Philipines before returning to Samoa to continue teaching at Chanel College.
Fr. Mikaele Tuimavave brings his experiences as a worker, a priest, a teacher, a pastor and a leader to the significant role of Director of Catholic Education.
The Board has every confidence that Fr. Mikaele will continue the work of his predecessor and ensure that Catholic Education remains a vital role force for the development of Samoa.
“We pray that God will bless him and the Holy Spirit guide him as he takes up his new appointment,” Chairman of Catholic Education Board; Fr. Patolo Matiasi, stated.
“The new Director of Catholic Education, Fr. Mikaele Tuimavave is well placed to build on the achievements and successes of his predecessor.
His appointment comes at the conclusion of the fourth contract of appointment of A’eau Hazelman after twelve years of dedicated and faithful service to Catholic Education in Samoa in the role o Director.
During his tenure, A’eau has given specific attention to the needs of schools, principals, teachers and student.
His support of the principals and schools has been outstanding as has his representation of Catholic Education within the wider education sector and with government and statutory authorities.
“The Catholic Education Board is deeply grateful for the service of Ae’au during his long tenure as Director of Catholic Education” Chairman of Catholic Education Board; Fr. Patolo Matiasi
“We pray that the Lord may reward him and continue to bless him and his family in the next phase of his life.
Fr. Tuimavave is 44-years-old from the villages of Amaile and Satitoa, Aleipata.