PEOPLE | A passion to teach

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Senirewa Tobua and her son Patemo Tobua visit the Lautoka Magistrates Court premises. Picture: REINAL CHAND

IT takes a lot of patience and drive to teach. The younger the student, the more challenging the journey. Adi Senirewa Tobua knows that all too well. But luckily she has the right skill set and education prowess to manage any kindergarten class.

Five years ago, Adi Senirewa was posted to the Mamanuca Kindergarten on Yanuya, the furthest village on Malolo Island. The idea of being posted to an island kindy made her uneasy at first. She knew it wouldn’t be an easy task but something kept urging her to take up the role. Her priority was giving children the best care and learning opportunities they needed.

“Many people say that being a kindergarten teacher is challenging. That is true but it is a calling and a blessing too,” she shared with a proud smile. “For me personally, I’m blessed and I always share this. The role allows me to always stand up strong and ensure the kids I teach progress to a new year enriched with knowledge they need.

“I love this work and I love the children I get to teach. They are a source of inspiration for me daily.”

Adi Senirewa said there were challenges on the job but she knew she had to overcome them for the sake of all the children on the island. She said a lot of people took education for granted and saw it simply as something to do while growing up and to secure a job at the resorts around them.

“Deep inside me, I knew I had to do something. I told myself ‘I am here for a reason, this is my calling and I will do my best to change perceptions’.

“Within these five years, that is basically what I have been doing, teaching them, getting them to know why education is important in life.”

Last week, Adi Senirewa accompanied her 12 students to Lautoka and Nadi for their end-of-year excursion. It was the first ever extracurricular outing for the school and being the diligent educator she is, she booked visits for her little ‘babies’ to the courthouse in Lautoka, a factory, the Nadi International Airport and the Blackrock Humanitarian Camp among other places. She said touring those places would open their minds to see the broader picture — securing a good education for a better and secure future.

“All along that has been my main aim as a kindergarten teacher, to teach my students the basics, the values of education and its importance in this modern world.”