Solomon Islanders in Suva were in tears on Wednesday when the newest Solomon Islander doctorate degree holder, Dr Billy Fito’o was capped at The University of the South Pacific graduation ceremony.
Dr Fito’o from Kwara’ae in Mala’ita Province did his research on citizenship education in Solomon Islands.
In congratulating Dr Fito’o, one of his mentors, Solomon Islands academic Dr Kabini Sanga of Victoria University of Wellington said: “Dr Fito’o life’s story is a real inspiration to every Solomon Islanders. He turned his early failures into success. Against all odds. Yet, he is a humble man. A man of God.”
Unlike some who went to and completed their schooling, Billy only completed form 1 at Su’u NSS.
Infact he was expelled for smoking. Ended up being a master liu (unemployed). He then made his way back through the untrained teacher route.
Completed SICHE teacher training qualification, then an undergraduate degree at USP; and a Master of Education degree from Victoria University of Wellington.
In between going to schools, Billy was a primary school teacher, secondary teacher and principal; and a public officer at IPAM of the Solomon Islands Public Service.
Asked to explain his success, Dr Billy Fito’o said, “Hard work, perseverance, good mentors, a supporting family and God’s blessings.”
In agreement with Billy, one of his supervisors, Solomon Islander Dr Jack Maebuta of the University of South Pacific commented, “Billy was a serious and hardworking student. He deserves the achievement and I congratulate Dr Fito’o on his valuable work which is instructive for our education curriculum at this post-crisis period.”