More than 100 students studying at the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) celebrated sweet success at the E.F.K.S Hall at Sogi yesterday morning
The graduates were conferred degrees, diploma and certificates from the University.
Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Henry Puna, was given the honour to confer the certificates, diplomas and degrees.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra delivered the University Graduation address, where he urged the graduates to make use of what they have learnt to improve the development of their nations.
“To all the graduates, this is your day this, this is your moment and this is your celebration,” he said.
Onosefulu Sianua Fuatai, spoke on behalf of the graduates.
“Graduation is a time to reflect on a journey that was taken to arrive to today’s success,” he said.
“It is also a time to anticipate and to look forward to what tomorrow will bring and to how each of us strive through the education we've achieved to improve and make our world a significantly a better place to live.”
She encouraged the graduates with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi
“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” she said. “Achieving success and compete in the long road that many of us have taken to graduate was not easy in fact the challenges were significant.
“We are different people today compared to what we were when we commenced studies.”
A highlight of this year’s graduation was the University’s commitment to the government of Samoa’s vision to provide more qualified Science teachers.
The University and government’s collaborative efforts for the improvement of Science teachers in Samoa’s classrooms was initiated in the form of the Science Teacher’s Accelerated Programme (S.T.A.P) – set up to fast track the Bachelor of Science Degree over a period of two years.
In this period with relevant credit transfers from their Diplomas – 60 Science Teachers were admitted to undertake studies towards a Bachelor of Science with the University in 2014.
These teachers were fully funded by the government and have been studying for two years to achieve this degree. From this pilot initiative – four other Pacific Island countries will be launching their Science Teachers Accelerated Programmes for the very first time next year in Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and in Fiji. Two Police members also graduated with the Certificate in Policing and one also with his Diploma in Police Management fully utilizing the sponsorship through the Samoa-Australia Police Partnership programme.
This year also sees a large number of graduates in the Master of Education - evidence that schools are continuing to encourage professional development which in return continues to benefit our education system.