PARTICIPANTS at the recent Vaka Pasifiki Education Conference, held at Solomon Islands National University (SINU) last week have expressed their joy following their experience.
Its the first for many Solomon Islanders to attend such an event attended by top international academics event
In an appreciative message, Andrew Misitom said, I salute everyone who helped to organize the conference.
“Thank you for accepting and allowing me to present three papers in this conference – a worthwhile and fortunate experience that I will never forget,” Mr Misitom said.
Another lecturer, John Beuka said, “Doing research in preparation for the conference offered me valuable experience.”
Mr Beuka further commented that the successful hosting of the conference has given SINU management confidence as a new university.
He added, “But for SINU lecturers to do the kind of research as the Gula’alaa community, we will need some mentoring in doing indigenous knowledge research.”
Another SINU lecturer, Graham Hiele noted that “participating in the conference was an exciting experience; of learning, discussing and reflecting on many important questions.” Further, Mr Hiele stated, “I personally enjoyed the event especially meeting colleagues from institutions around the Pacific and as well as others from outside Oceania.”
For lecturer Timothy Aihunu, the conference was an eye-opener for him. As a first-time who presented two papers, the conference experience had inspired Timothy to aspire for further studies.
According to Mr Aihunu, “the conference exposed me to many people and different ideas.” The experience has driven me with greater passion to be part of the wider Pacific Vaka community of educators and academics.”
SINU Dean of Education, Bukah Misifea noted that SINU academic staff did very well; showing much promise in their research and were very professional in their presentations of their work.
According to Mr Misifea, most of his staff now realizes that they can present papers in any academic conference anywhere.
“We have just awakened the hornet’s nest. The potential has been hidden away for so long. SINU lecturers are looking forward to doing more research and sharing their findings with national and international audiences,” said Mr Misifea.
According to conference programme manager, Dr Mo’ale ‘Otunuku; “To me the conference was all inclusive and flexible.
“We had papers by well-known academics from universities around the region and others by first-timers. We had students, teachers, community people and university-based researchers.” According to Dr ‘Otunuku from the USP Institute of Education, “The Honiara conference was memorable for the collaborative way in which universities were working with MEHRD and other institutions.”
As well, Dr ‘Otunuku praised the high quality of the papers by SINU lecturers, given the short time of preparation the presenters have.
By LESLEY SANGA