There's a movie on at present set in Africa with an old grandpa going to school, someone told us. And in Fiji you don't have to finish high school at eighteen or nineteen any more. Here's a nice heart-warming story of a young father going back to school in Labasa. From the Fiji Sun - a newspaper that does some stories well, other stories, okay, a bit of a spin.
Father of 3 is Dux
writer : SHRATIKA NAIDU
Who says that a drop-out student cannot return to school to complete secondary school education? Father of three, Jiuwa Tawake, 25, of Yacata Island in Cakaudrove, was yesterday awarded the Dux of Labasa Arya Secondary School.
Mr Tawake returned to complete his education after seven years.
He is the eldest of five siblings. He dropped out of Sigatoka Methodist Secondary School in the west of Fiji after failing Fiji School Leaving Certificate examination. He returned to his island, got married and worked on the farm to support his family.
However, he still wasn’t satisfied with life on the island, knowing that he is capable of succeeding in school if he puts his mind and heart to it. After hearing on the news that the Ministry of Education has allowed school dropouts to resume studies despite their age limits, Mr Tawake took it as a challenge. After seven years, he returned to Labasa and enrolled at Labasa Arya Secondary School to complete his Form Six and Seven studies.
Holding onto the Dux Award during the annual prizegiving, Mr Tawake said he was the happiest man in the world.
“I did not imagine in life that I would be able to complete my secondary school education,” Mr Tawake said. Dressed neatly in his school uniform and holding onto his son on his lap during the awards, Mr Tawake said it was through family support and love of God that enabled him to succeed.
“During these seven years, I faced a lot of challenges but one thing I have learned in life is that getting educated is very important.” He said while working under the hot sun on his farm, he used to cry at times and humbly pleaded to God to give him another chance to study. “I will prove what I’m worth,” Mr Tawake said was among lines of his prayers.
He studied day and night and worked hard during weekends to support his family.
Mr Tawake was chosen among the 13 Form Seven students to get the Dux Award. He scored 309 out of 400 in his annual examination.
“I thank my school teachers for their support and my colleagues for treating me just like their own family member,” Mr Tawake said. He wants to become a secondary school teacher and hopes to get a scholarship to study at the Fiji National University next year.
Chief guest at the prizegiving day Ministry of Education director of Secondary Education Basundra Kumar. He commended the school for giving opportunities to school dropouts. “Such kinds of initiative is in line with the People’s Charter Pillar number nine which highlights the need of having a knowledge-based society,” Mrs Kumar said. She said everyone had the right to education regardless of age, colour and race.