Tenakoga has continued to rise over the past year says Tenakoga Adventist College Registrar Chareen Simbe.
“Following the success of our Year 12 students last year, 23 students graduated this year and will progress with their studies to Year 13 or directly into tertiary studies at Solomon Islands National University”, she continued.
“Two of our major projects should be completed soon,” said Principal Gibson Apusae. “Our new library (16 by 10 metres) will be completed by the end of October and our Dining Hall/Kitchen should be completed by the end of the year.
Ms Simbe said, “The new library will be a major improvement on our temporary facilities. Having a purpose-built library will provide a focal point for our student’s learning. We will be able to expand the number of books and resources held and this will increase our student’s ability to broaden their knowledge through reading and research.”
The second major infrastructure project is the Dining Hall/Kitchen. This is a substantial project and offers 525 square metres (35 x 15 metres) of floor space. The project is a co-operative effort of the Tenakoga Adventist College, the College Council, volunteer works from the four G’s (Geza, Govu, Ghombua and Gheghede), donors and tradesmen from Australia and students and teachers from Hills Adventist College in Sydney.
Project sponsor, Pastor Ray Eaton, a veteran of 10 years’ service for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Solomon Islands is excited about the quality and functionality of the equipment being installed and the opportunity to provide first class hygiene for the students at the College.
“We’ve brought with us five stainless steel benches for food preparation and the serving of food, five sinks for washing, peeling, and cutting fruit and vegetables, stainless steel sinks for washing hands and washing dishes as well as vermin proof cupboards for storing perishable food”, Pastor Eaton said excitedly.
“The two-stainless steel instove chip burner fully utilised he wood that is burned and are also environmentally friendly as no waste comes out of the chimney”, he continued. These stoves will allow the students to cook up to 100 litres of sweet potato, taro or rice at a time.
“Having a dedicated dining hall/kitchen will provide our students with a central place for the students to eat their meal as they now just sit around the campus in small groups”, said Gibson Apusae. “Another benefit will be a new place for the students to socialise and to conduct social activities”, he continued.
Chair of the College Council, Douglas Gena, said that “the dining hall would provide an opportunity for students to eat together socially and to learn proper table manners and etiquette”.
Many Tenakoga students have been involved as volunteers in the project.
Year 8 student, Samirah Saed said that she wanted to contribute as the “new dining hall would provide a place to eat together will her friends and all her fellow students”, while Year 7 student Lanita Hilla wanted to help so that the dining hall could be finished more quickly.
The opportunity to have more healthy cooking and to leave a legacy for his younger brothers was the reason Year 11 student John Lulua was shovelling sand and gravel to make concrete.
Dr Malcolm Coulson, Principal of Hills Adventist College, said, “Our College encourages our students to be community minded. This is our College’s fourth visit to Tenakoga Adventist College and we are proud of the contribution our students and staff have made to the improved infrastructure. The work ethic of our students has been amazing despite the hot and humid, tiring and dirty work.”
Other significant contributors to the success of the project were the Dr Derek Sikua, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Guadalcanal, and Ishmael Avui, the Member of Parliament for Central Guadalcanal.
Dr Sikua provided the machine to excavate the dining hall and kitchen while the road to Tenakoga was being upgraded.
Mr Avui provided an excavator to extract gravel for the concrete floor of the dining room. Tenakoga Adventist College is highly appreciative of these important contributions from the parliamentary representatives whose areas cover Tenakoga and the catchment area from which it draws students.
“We are also very grateful for the generous donations which have supporting this project”, Mr Apusae said.
“We want to thank the students at Macquarie Primary School who held a walkathon and raised over $13,000 Australian dollars (SBD$95k). We want to thank the other generous donors in Australia who give so willingly to the support of education in the Solomon Islands.
“We want to thank our own staff and students who produced an inspirational music video called Journey of Faith. The sale of the video raised $35,000 SDB.
“We want to thank the countless volunteers who have contributed their time, energy and sweat. When the Dining Hall was being erected we often had up to 50 people on site – students and staff from Hills Adventist College, students and staff from our own College, tradesmen and businessmen from Australia and members of our College community. Mostly we want to thank God for his generosity and love”.
Hills Adventist College is a Seventh-day Adventist High school in Sydney. Its Year 11 students have been visiting Tenakoga Adventist College for four years and have assisted in the infrastructure and creative improvement projects that have been undertaken during this period.
Tenakoga Adventist College is located about 90 minutes by road from Honiara in North East Guadalcanal. Most of the College’s 243 students come from the surrounding communities of Geza, Govu, Ghombua and Geghede.
Tenakoga Adventist College holds Social Science Week
“Our Social Science Department major initiative this year was for our students to expand their knowledge of our neighbouring Pacific countries”, said Leecrish Joseph, Head of Tenakoga Adventist College’s Social Science Department. “Each class was given one neighbouring Pacific Island (Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, PNG) to study”, she continued, “and they were asked to understand the flag and national anthem of that country”.
“Year 8 was given the task of learning about Vanuatu”, said Junita Elvis. “We went to the library to find as much as we could about Vanuatu. We had to work out as a class how to present the information we found. We decided to include the typical food and cooking utensils as part of our display. One of my class mates also did a speech on Vanuatu to present the information we found and we dressed in the native dress of Vanuatu and sang their national anthem”.
Finding out about Samoa was the task allocated to Year 10. Francine Joseph researched Samoa on the Internet and on Facebook when she went to Honiara. “We learnt a lot about the Samoan culture, how the Samoan’s dress and the food they eat”, Francine said. “As part of our presentation we built a small house from traditional building materials in the classroom to depict a Samoan dwelling. It was a great opportunity to learn about one of our Solomon Island neighbours. We also learned a lot about how to manage a project and work in a team”.
The social science teachers were surprised how much the students learnt from this project. “The students used the library to gain their knowledge of their assigned country, and this increased their research skills”, said Ms Joseph. “They gathered information and the processed it to determine what should be presented and how it should be presented”, she continued. The teachers were impressed by their student’s creativity and ability to present relevant the knowledge they gained in such an informative way. Some excellent student presenters were also identified.
The Year 11 class, which represented Fiji, won the award for the best presentation for the Social Science Week.
Happy Rooms – A Colour Recipe for Learning
“Grey walls concrete and blocks of the home economics classroom at Tenakoga Adventist College have been transformed by an expansive array of colors and artwork,” said Registrar and Home Economics Teacher, Chareen Simbe. The walls have been decorated with colourful local flowers and wildlife, as well as local fruits and vegetables. The transformation of the home economics classroom has been directed by Iris Landa and she has been supported by a team of teachers, students and some men from the community. This is Mrs Landa’s third visit to Tenakoga and she felt compelled to come back to support the many young artists in the College.
The Home Economics Happy Room will improve the learning environment for students and will stimulate their creativity and receptiveness to new ideas. “It’s a blessing for our College and we would like to thank all the sponsors, donors, friends for giving their time, money, effort and prayers in making the happy room project 2017 to the Tenakoga a successful one”, said Principal Gibson Apusae. The painting of the Happy Rooms have provided students with artistic talents an opportunity to showcase their abilities and those memories will be marked on the walls for as long as they can. Term 4 will see the home economics girls designing happy wall hangings to keep improving the room into as an ideal learning place.
Happy Rooms are the God-inspired creation of Iris Landa. Three years after her husband’s death from cancer in 1997, Iris transformed a brown room in her home with bright colors. She called it her Happy Room. She enjoyed seeing the smiles and hearing laughter as people entered the room. So after she retired, her passion became Happy Rooms Around the World. In the past 7 years, Iris has directed over 30 Happy Room projects in 11 countries.
So, what is a Happy Room? A Happy Room is often a bland, dull and uninteresting area that has been transformed by vibrant colour to a positive, inspiring space using a lot of paint and a whole lot of love. The Happy Room transformation is a celebration of beauty, creativity and enthusiasm, that brings laughter, smiles and joy to those who live, study or work in that room.
By Dr Ken Long