A Computer Teacher’s Passion

Salendra PrasadIt was the 90s and Computer Sciences and Information Technology (IT) was a growing field in the Pacific.  The popularity of these new subjects had not gone amiss with Salendra Prasad.  He understood that the field was only going to grow and experts in the area would be needed in the country. 

“IT was in demand at the time so that is what I wanted to do. I knew it would be easier to get a job with that qualification,” he said.  As such, he decided to pursue his higher education in this field.

Prasad was born and raised in Kabisi, a farming community located approximately 25 minutes outside of Sigatoka Town. Youngest of his siblings, Prasad has two brothers and three sisters. His father was a bus driver and his mother looked after the family. The family also had a sugarcane farm where he used to help out.

“Growing up my brothers and I were expected to help in the sugarcane as my father was a bus driver.  He had to work full time as well as look after the farm and this was not easy but we never complained about this. We were always happy to help,” he said.

Having made up his mind, Prasad enrolled in the Diploma in Computing Programme at the Fiji Institute of Technology (FIT) in its Namaka Campus.

“FIT had affordable fees and we could pay in installments which made it easier to attain tertiary qualification. The lecturers were also very nice and understanding,” he said.

“We were the pioneers of the Diploma in Computing programme in 1997,” he added.

Prasad graduated in 2000 and started working for the Fijian Resort as the Electronic Data Processor Operator. He worked here for one year before being offered a job as a Computer Teacher at Tilak High School in Lautoka.

“I had applied for a few jobs including teaching but I was offered the job at the Fijian Resort first and I took it. Luckily, just after a year I was offered the teaching position,” said Prasad.

While teaching at Tilak High School he enrolled in the International Diploma in Tertiary Teaching programme at FIT and managed to complete it in 2006.

After teaching at Tilak High School for seven years, he was transferred to Swami Vivekananda College for a short stint before moving to Nadroga Arya College to be closer to his family.

Another chapter of life started as he got married in 2012 and moved to Lautoka the following year to teach at Saint Thomas High School. During this time, he decided to upgrade his qualification and enrolled in the Bachelor of Education – TVET programme at the Fiji National University, Natabua Campus which he completed in 2016.

Prasad enjoys his job.  “Teaching can get hectic at times however; I enjoy the challenges that it presents. I like my job. It gives me immense satisfaction to share my knowledge with the students,” he said.

Prasad takes a keen interest in sports as well and is the Vice President of the Fiji Secondary Schools Soccer Association which is the governing body Secondary Schools soccer in Fiji.

His message to students is to have discipline, be dedicated to their work and have hope.

“Discipline is very important. If you have discipline you can achieve what you aim for. You also need to be dedicated to your goals and work towards them. Lastly, have hope. Hope can give you the right attitude to achieving your goals,” said Prasad.

He credits his success to parents and his wife.

“My parents worked hard to ensure that we succeed. I am thankful for my father who paid for my initial Diploma. After I got married, my wife has been very supporting, always encouraging me to do better in life; to be a better person,” he said.

Prasad is currently teaching at Tilak High School where he has been since 2015 and resides in Lautoka with his wife, mother and two children.