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Thank You Ma’am

“I am grateful Ms. Sharma chose me as her adopted child in school because her words of motivation and encouragement was what made me come back to school because I almost gave up last year,” he said.
05 Aug 2022 12:54
Thank You Ma’am
Top javelin student of Nakasi High School Jope Turagakula, with his mentor and teacher, Bimala Lata Sharma, on August 4, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Jope Turagakula heaped praises on his teacher Bimala Lata Sharma for her unconditional support. This is after he broke a five-year-old javelin record and helped Nakasi High School become surprise winner of the boys division in the Triple N Zone Track and Field meet at Laucala Bay, Suva.

Jope said Ms. Sharma was a source of inspiration and assured him a second lease of life through her noble mentoring.

Using his pathway in school as an example, Jope, 19, has implored other teachers to be trusted advisers and consider the different background students come from.

Before COVID hit Fiji, Nakasi High School principal Praveen Chand encouraged his teachers to be part of the “Adopt a Child” initiative.

Teachers selected any of their students to provide support whether to encourage or financially support them. Jope was emotional when describing the support and advice Ms. Sharma had provided him at school which enabled him to scoop gold in the Triple N Zone meet.

Jope Turagakula of Nakasi High School during the Triple N Zone at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on August 2, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kuma

Jope Turagakula of Nakasi High School during the Triple N Zone at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on August 2, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

“I am grateful Ms. Sharma chose me as her adopted child in school because her words of motivation and encouragement was what made me come back to school because I almost gave up last year,” he said.

“It was Ms. Sharma’s encouragement that directed me to stay away from friends who travelled down the wrong path.

“The words a teacher says will either motivate or discourage his or her student.”

Jope said every student has a story to tell and may have gone through different difficulties which would discourage them at some point and this was where teachers helped.

“A teacher will either encourage us to continue our education or give up. Every child faces different problems and if teachers continue to pick on them without understanding the real problem it will make a child think that no one cares,” he said.

Record throw...Jope Turagakula of Nakasi High School during senior boys junlin throw final during NNN at HFC Bank Stadium on August 2, 2022.

Record throw…Jope Turagakula of Nakasi High School during senior boys javelin throw final during NNN at HFC Bank Stadium on August 2, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Ms. Bimala Lata Sharma

Ms. Sharma, who has been a teacher for more than 15 years, said she saw potential in Jope.

“When I chose Jope to be my adoptive child I treated him like my own child and not like my student. When I was told that Jope won, I couldn’t contain my joy and went looking for him,” Ms. Sharma said.

“I looked at him and said ‘That is my Jope’. The joy I felt was like he was my son and I was proud of his achievement.

“Jope’s strength is that he always listens. I always tell him to never give up even when things get tough.

 

“I always asked Jope if he needed anything because I wanted him to know there are people out there that believe in him and want to see him prosper.”

She also applauded Mr. Chand for coming up with the initiative that enabled the teachers to get to know their students well.

Jope is the second eldest of four sibling. His parents were also jubilant when he informed them that he won gold and helped his school win the boys division in the Triple N Zone meet.

Jope hails from Wailoa Village in Naitasiri with maternal links to Udu Village in Kabara, Lau.

 

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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