Students’ workshop: Careers without formal qualification

Igatolo Tokase, second from right, teaches children on masi printing during their visit at the Fiji Museum as part of the school holiday program in Suva on Tuesday, May 01, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

LEARNING in school is very important as it moulds students and allows them to gain a qualification and ultimately get a career later in life.
Learning outside of the school system is also critical as it complements classroom learning, develops the child’s ability in grasping life skills and makes them effective citizens in the future.
This was highlighted by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs deputy permanent secretary Saimoni Waibuta during his closing remarks at the Fiji Museum School Break Workshop earlier this month.
The workshop had a good turnout with more than 70 students from around the Western, Eastern and Central divisions being part of the four-day workshop that encouraged students to learn more about various iTaukei cultural practices such as weaving, masi making, pottery and painting.
Mr Waibuta said children nowadays often failed to realise that there were other careers beside the formal white and blue collar jobs.
“Yearning to be a nurse, a lawyer, policemen, an accountant, an economist and many others are not the only career forms,” Mr Waibuta said.
“There are other jobs that one can aspire to, which do not need formal qualifications.”
Fiji Arts Council director Peni Cavuilagi said through organised workshops, students could learn how Fiji’s forefathers used to live and how they used their creativity to create something from their environment.
He said it was important for students to understand the different cultures in Fiji and link it to the different artifacts being displayed at the Fiji Museum.
“This will give a sense of appreciation of other cultures existing in Fiji,” he said.
“Fiji is a multicultural society with different ethnic groups, different languages, different religions and beliefs but we live happily side by side which is why many people say that ‘we are the way the world should be’ because of the richness in our diversity.”
He said such workshop would give students an opportunity to learn new skills in art and craft development and the value it provides in enriching people’s lives.
“There will be some of you who are in the school system now who will end up using your God-given talents to earn a living,” he said.
“If you don’t do well at school do not worry. Who knows you can become a professional artist or master weaver or professional potter.”
Mr Cavuilagi said students exercised their hand skills and would bring out some creative abilities that were naturally built in.
Fiji Museum director Sipiriano Nemani said the museum hoped to continue offering students in high school the same program, focusing more on Year 7 to Year 13 students.
Most of the school programs organised by the Fiji Museum are offered to Year 1 to Year 8 students and now the museum hopes to expand their focus to secondary school students too.
“It’s so good to see parents using this opportunity to not only foster learning about traditional arts and culture but also to use it as a mechanism where students learn about values and principles that intertwine together with those traditional cultures,” Mr Nemani said.
“We hope to implement this in every school term and we hope to encourage other children from other urban areas to be part of the program.”