Barbara Irene Tatahu has made a big catch in her education journey after graduating with two degrees from the University of Goroka (UOG) this year.
The 35-year-old Tatahu was one of the local students who graduated from the UOG open campus in Honiara recently, with a Bachelor Degree in Education and Management.
There were more than 20 students from Solomon Islands received their certificates during the Graduation Ceremony for UOG students held at Pacific Casino on 31st of May last month.
“To me personally, this is a big catch in my life,” Tatahu told the Sunday Star in an interview.
“And this is not an easy road for me though,” says Mrs. Tatahu.
Tatahu said that though the result is remarkable, the process of getting it is another different story to tell.
“2014 and 2015 were the worst years for me in my studies. The main problem was I was self sponsored and have to dig in my own pocket to get money to meet my school fees,” she expressed.
Mrs. Irene Tatahu said she had to struggle by herself to meet her school fee to keep her going.
She had to seek assistance from her cousin brothers and sisters to finance her education.
Tatahu recalled that it was a challenging journey for her.
She said that the one of the inevitable challenges is being a mother with kids while doing studies.
Managing her limited time to spend with kids and her studies is very challenging.
“But I have to manage to cope with it by doing my assignment at Vura Community High school where I taught during those past years,” she revealed.
She said after school, she had to do her assignments and studies before she went home to spend time with her family.
Tatahu said this is how she manage her work and her family issues.
“Indeed, it’s a tough journey for me as a mother who locked up with many family responsibilities and work commitments,” she uttered.
“After I took my first Bachelor Degree in management I go on further to get one more degree. So, in 2016, I applied for a scholarship and was accepted to do bachelor degree in education language literacy and geography,” she reminisced.
That is when she went over to Goroka to do her studies and return with two degrees.
“I would like to dedicate these degrees to family’s members and relatives who also share the suffering with me during the course of my studies,” she attributes her achievement.
Tatahu said the burden she had gone through during her years of student were shouldered by her husband and family members.
“I would to offer them big thanks for their support because nothing is difficult if we work together, which was the secret of my success,” she added.
Tatahu said she would like to call on young women in the country to prioritise education despite of many difficulties along the way.
“I sometimes feel like giving up during the course of my study but due to strong determination within myself it enables me to receive these achievements.
“We must have to realize our rights to education. Talk about it with our husbands and do our best to reach the final goal of what we are doing.
“I want to encourage young women from central Makira where I come from to do their studies seriously because in our country today, there were fewer women receiving such qualifications.
“It is important that we women want to be there at the top positions in the offices, so we must priritise education seriously to qualify us for those positions,” she urged.
Tatahu is from Nororo village in the central Bauro, Makira province.
She has three children and a supporting husband who stood by her during the course of her studies.
She did her primary school at Arohane.
And from there she went to Pawa and to Pamua and Waimapuru, where she completed her seven years of secondary education.
After that she went to do Diploma in English and social studies to teach secondary school students.
When she completed that she went on to teach for three years and in 2013, she applied to University of Goroka where she gets her first Degree.
By LESLEY SANGA