Mother-of-three Tesese Institute's Dux

A mother-of-three from Saleimoa is the Dux of the 2020 graduating class of the Tesese Institute, graduating with a Diploma in Office Administration and Computer Studies.  

Meipo Tema Esera started at the institute of administrative studies in 2017. She left on Thursday with new skills she says have set her life on a new course, perhaps most importantly juggling motherhood with professional commitments. 

By the end of 2018 her class had the opportunity to take up work experience opportunities in Government Ministries which gave her the chance to work for the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.). 

"So I was chosen to go to the Public Service Commission and thereafter four weeks of observing, we had gained knowledge and skills from there," the 25-year-old said 

"So after four weeks, I got lucky and I was blessed to have the opportunity to work at the P.S.C., so I started as a full-time student in 2017, and towards the end of 2018 I got the opportunity to work so right now I’m the senior records officer at P.S.C."

Ms. Esera had managed to juggle work, school, and her kids - and she says she has never been more proud of doing so. 

"It was so hard," she laughed

"I work from 9 to 5 and then I go to my evening classes and today I’m so happy that I made it.

"It’s a lot of struggle, a lot of work, and a lot of assignments to do but it paid off.

"I’m so proud and looking back to when I started, it was so hard but I’m proud that I’ve done it."

Ms. Esera wakes up in the morning at about 4.30 am to prepare her kids for school and drop them. Sometimes she's late for work because of her responsibilities as a mother. 

"After work, [it's] school then home and then the kids again," she said 

Working at P.S.C hasn't been easy for Ms. Esera, she says. The Commission looks after all other Ministries and she says it hardly leaves her the time to do her studies and assignments. 

"Working at the P.S.C. hasn’t been easy because they’re the one looking after all the other Ministries and it’s always busy and I never got time to do my studies or my assignments and the only time that I do my assignments is when my kids go to sleep," she said 

"I had to manage my time to not fall asleep at my desk."

Ms. Esera admits there were times that she felt like giving up, but her husband, who is a seasonal worker overseas, would always call and encourage her every day. She also said that whenever she felt like giving up, she would think of her kids and how they're depending on her. 

She plans to further her education at the University of the South Pacific next year as a chance to do more for her children.

Ms Esera graduated together with her little brother, Tema Tema who she is so proud of. 

Ms. Esera thanked the Director of the Tesese Institute, Emoni Tesese, for the opportunity to learn and acknowledged the P.S.C for the opportunity to further her skills.

She was especially grateful to her parents for helping her through a time when she was juggling work and study responsibilities.  

Ms. Esera's father, Tema Lila, expressed how proud he is of her daughter's achievement and how it felt like a reward after years of fostering her through school. 

"I am extremely glad by her achievements and it is such a rewarding feeling for us parents to see them succeed after putting through school and praying for their success," Mr. Lila said

"And it’s a conclusion that us parents have now witnessed today what our children are doing here at school. I thank the Lord for these blessings that has enabled us, parents, to feel such a way for our children’s achievements."

About 50 students graduated on Thursday that combined the graduations of the classes of 2019 and 2020 after the previous year's graduates had their ceremony postponed due to measles. 

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