Mum, 44, Sits Y13 Exam

Yesterday she was part of the 97 students studying under the Matua Programme who sat for their Fiji Year 13 Examination.
02 Feb 2022 15:45
Mum, 44, Sits Y13 Exam
Nabua Secondary School Year 13 Matua programme student, Sereana Susu, 44, sits her Fiji Seventh Form examination English paper on February 1, 2022. . Photos: Ronald Kumar

Sereana Susu is a determined woman.

Twenty–six years ago, she was unable to complete her secondary school education. Yesterday, she entered the examination hall in Nabua Secondary School to complete some unfinished business.

Enrolled under the Matua Programme, the mother of two and grandmother of two was among some 8000 students from around Fiji who began their Fiji Year 13 Examination yesterday.

For Ms Susu, age was just a number and it has never a barrier when it comes to education.

The 44-year-old single mum of Nasereilagi, Saivou, Ra, returned to the classroom in 2020, determined to one day make her goals realised.

“I last left school in 1996 because of financial constraints, my parents were getting old and were unable to pay my school fees. So I decided to leave school,” she said.

“I had attended Indian College which is now Jai Narayan College.

“The decision to get back to school began when my daughters were fully grown up adults.

“In 2003, my marriage went through a tough phase and for me, back then going back to school was not in my mind because my priority back then were the girls.

“They both grew up, were educated and began their own families. Now that they have grown up, I decided that it was my chance to get back to school.”


Matua Programme

Ms Susu was enrolled into the Matua Programme in 2020.

“In 2019, I wanted to go back to school so I went to USP and they advised me to go to TELS because I was having some financial issues and when I went to TELS they advised me to try out the Matua Programme that was free of charge,” she said.

“On the same day I went to the Matua Programme office here in Nabua Secondary and when I got there they told me enrolment was closed so they asked me to come at the end of the year or to get enrolled in 2020.

“Throughout 2019, I was at home, I did some small business and in 2020, I was enrolled in Matua. The urge to complete my education was always there.”

She was enrolled for Year 12 in 2020 and managed to pass her Year 12 examination.

Yesterday she was part of the 97 students studying under the Matua Programme who sat for their Fiji Year 13 Examination.

“For me, there was no turning back when I decided to get back to Matua School. I didn’t have second thoughts, I didn’t bother what people were going to say because I know that I have a goal to achieve. Despite the challenges, I kept my focus and I didn’t let anything dampen my spirits.”


Personal goals

Ms Susu hopes to one day become a qualified professional counsellor.

“I have so much passion for social and community work and I have my goals set that I am working towards achieving.

“I love to encourage people, I had always voluntarily worked as a counsellor in an organisation I had last worked for and I enjoyed the work.

“I will not rest until I get to where I want to be.”

She said she hopes to get into university this year to continue to pursue this dream.



Her message to those who are contemplating finishing their education is to never let age be a barrier in pursuing their goals and aspirations.

“I want to let people know that we are not paying anything to study. The Government is paying fees, bus fares, books, all you have to do is study.

“While growing up I remember I could not go to school because my school fees payment were pending.

“I encourage school leavers to come back, get another chance in education. It is never too late.

“Our classes are only from 4pm to 7pm and I used to work, but when it’s time to be in school at 4pm, I am here. I believe that when we set our goals we need to make sacrifices, we all need to make some sacrifices.”

She said this academic year has not been an easy one, but with a determined mind and soul, she continues to press on regardless.


About the Matua Programme

Established in 2003, the programme targets Years 10, 12 and 13 students who had dropped out of school for one reason or another without completing a secondary qualification.

The Matua Programme runs alongside the normal school programme at the Nabua Secondary School which is the only institution that provides and allows a high school completion through a second chance to secondary education. Edited by Jonathan Bryce





Advertise with us

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.