NATION

First Fijian Graduates With ECE Doctorate

The University of the South Pacific graduation ceremony at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva yesterday celebrated a first for Fiji. Kelesi Loga Sale-Whippy is said to be the first Fijian
21 Sep 2018 11:00
First Fijian Graduates With ECE Doctorate
Graduate Dr Kelesi Whippy with the staff from USP after the graduation on September 20,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.

The University of the South Pacific graduation ceremony at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva yesterday celebrated a first for Fiji.

Kelesi Loga Sale-Whippy is said to be the first Fijian to graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in Educa­tion specialising in Early Child­hood Education and Childcare.

Ms Sale-Whippy, whose father is from American Samoa while her mother is from Viwa Island, Bau, was brought up by her maternal grandmother at Namacu, Koro, in the Lomaiviti Group.

“I acquired my knowledge and interest of early childhood educa­tion from my grandmothers at Na­macu,” she said.

Her journey was similar to the graduates who successfully com­pleted their respective degrees.

“We all have our success stories and without the failures we would not have been here. I, of course, have gone through a lot of failure,” Ms Sale-Whippy said.

“It was not a lonesome journey with my eight children and my hus­band.

“Without their support, there would not be a graduation today.”

Ms Sale-Whippy acknowledged the “guidance, silent nurturing and the quiet disposition” of her late mother.

“She passed on in April last year and I must say that it was the big­gest challenge during this journey,” she said.

The milestone Ms Sale-Whippy achieved was dedicated to her late mother.

“At this point, I want to mention my grandson Iliesa Joshua Roko Koroibete in Melbourne, who is the motivating element for this jour­ney,” Ms Sale-Whippy said.

“I had to write about early child­hood because he was the centre, the very thing that kept me going.

“I had to make sure that my daugh­ter and son-in-law brought him up with good parenting skills, which I included in my thesis.”

My journey

Ms Sale-Whippy began her Doctor­ate journey in 2012 and it took pre­cisely five years for her to complete.

“It took five years of hard work, determination, prioritising and managing my time wisely to get here,” she said.

“I still used to have time to go to church, prepare my Sunday school lessons.”

She works as an Assistant Lectur­er at the Faculty of Education and Law.

In addition, Ms Sale-Whippy’s un­cle Samuela Raduva said the family was elated with this achievement.

“All of us are very happy to have witnessed this and I think Kelesi’s journey, which was filled with struggles and hardships, has come to a fruitful end,” he said.

“Our children need to have this balance in life and if they have a good education they can have good moral standards. That’s what we like. We ought to have good educa­tion and more moral standards.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj



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