Minister overcomes challenges to graduate

By Nefertiti Matatia 17 June 2018, 12:00AM

Success is the result of hard work.

Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Kineti Sio, knows this. 

Loau was part of the 18 Samoan Parliamentarians who graduated with a Certificate in Civil Law from the University of the South Pacific on Thursday as part of the university’s 50th anniversary celebration.

According to Loau, challenges associated with his duty to the Government and the people of Samoa, his family and preparations for the Pacific Games in 2019, did not deter him from trying to complete his studies.  

The journey was never easy for him; going again to school after 30 years ago is a story of a lifetime. It did not stop him because his passion and hunger for knowledge was greater than his fears. 

“I think that this had to be done a long time ago. I am so grateful to have this moment in life. I guess the reason I got into school again was because I wanted to have something in life. Even though I am a Minister and also being a parliamentarian graduate, the way I look at it, through my education, I will still feel that there is something missing.”

“So when the opportunity came up, I thought to myself that I would go try it out and get myself that piece of paper,” he Sunday Samoan. 

It was a two-year course, but they did it in one year, which was not easy for any of them. Loau said the secret to making it throughout the two semesters is to pray hard and ask God for strength.

 “It has been 30 years out of school not having to do anymore assignments and getting back to writing 600 words essay is not easy.”

“Even though I know that I am quite busy with my schedule and the work that I do. I would always hear that voice in me that I have to do it. That instinct which is challenging and I have got a big heart.”

“So when the time and the opportunity were given and he gave it to me at the right time. You may not hear him talk to you directly, but you will see it because everything would work out.”

“When I was travelling, I was doing my assignments during my flights or at my hotels and just email them even though we are away because of work, but I was still determined to try to finish my assignment.”

Loau explained: “I was the last student in the class that enrolled. There were supposed to be 18 of the students and Ruby, who is the director of the U.S.P, it was a day when I had a conversation with Ruby about U.S.P things, she mentioned to me that there was one more person to fill the last spot to make the 18.”

“Being a Minister it is really hard for me; it is good for some of them because they are not really that busy.” 

God was the answer to his achievement. 

“God is always showing us the pathway to take and he has paved the way for me. It is the same case for King Solomon, he knew that he was not able to do anything without God, which is the reason he asked for wisdom to know the difference and he got it.”

“Even though there are so many obligations with my work, the duties that I have and also the portfolio I am having with the education, which is a huge position and I guess God still opened up the way and gave me time.”

“Even though I have many obligations I have to fulfill, I have to do this or else there is no other time and if I miss this opportunity then there is no way I would be able to get this anymore. So when a chance was given and I was a last minute call in, probably God was giving me that time.” 

As he reminisced about the tough times, he acknowledged the support of his family.

“My family was helping me out a lot, my wife and children they always encouraged me. So usually when my kids would be sitting on the table to do their assignments, then I would be sitting next to them working on my assignments too.”

“My kids would be like you have to finish that dad, it would be embarrassing for a Minister if the others pass and you don’t. 

“So that is another challenging part of this journey,” he laughed.

By Nefertiti Matatia 17 June 2018, 12:00AM

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