Manuela Bauro firmly believes that his success can be attributed to hard work, disciple and the qualifications he attained by pursuing technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Bauro, said through TVET, he has gained lifelong skills which laid the foundation for him to become successful in his personal and professional endeavours.
Originally from Vaitupu island on Tuvalu, Bauro said he was grateful that despite the challenges he faced in high school, he was able to gain TVET qualifications and excel in his field of interest. The 29-year-old said this highlighted the hands-on learning and versatile nature of TVET as it could allow anyone to be skilled and workforce ready as employees or entrepreneurs.
After completing Class 1-5 and Class 6 at the Seventh Day Adventist School and Nauti Primary School in Tuvalu, Bauro relocated to Fiji and undertook Form 1-2 (Year 7 and 8) at Indra Gandhi Memorial School before returning to Tuvalu to complete his high school education at Motufoua Secondary School.
“I had difficulties completing my Form 5 examinations at Motufoua Secondary School but I am grateful to the school principal, the late Mosese Halofaki for realising my potential and giving me a second chance,” Bauro said.
“In 2009 I was placed in the TVET stream in school and realised I was more inclined to practical learning and in a subject I was passionate about, which was carpentry.”
“Halofaki was also instrumental in securing a place for me in TVET studies back in Fiji, so I returned the following year to continue my TVET journey.”
In 2010, he again travelled to Fiji and enrolled at Ratu Kadalevu School (RKS) for vocational studies and completed the National Trade Certificate Class III Assistant Tradesperson from the Fiji National University’s (FNU), National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC).
In the same year, Bauro also enrolled in the Certificate IV in Carpentry at FNU’s College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST), undertaking the course at Derrick Campus in Samabula, Suva.
Bauro said he chose to progress with his qualifications at FNU as it was aligned to his preferred method of learning, which combined theoretical knowledge and practical learning and teaching.
“FNU allowed me to learn in a conducive environment with knowledgeable lecturers who had industry knowledge,” he said.
“I was also studying at an institution with diverse students from other Pacific Island countries such as the Solomon Islands and Nauru in addition to the Fijian students who were my classmates and friends so this also contributed to my student experience at FNU.”
“One of my highlights of learning at FNU was the exchange of ideas, experiences, skills and knowledge between classmates and the academics.” “I was also excited to complete this programme as it would enable me to one day realise my long-term ambition of becoming a builder.”
In addition to the Carpentry course, Bauro also completed a Certificate in First Line Supervision at FNU.
Following his graduation from FNU in 2012, Bauro was posted to his former high school, Motufoua Secondary School, to teach the FNU-franchised Carpentry and Joinery course.
“It was the only government school on Vaitupu island and so I was responsible for teaching this course until 2016 when I was recruited to the Technology Department to teach Basic Technology to Year 9 and 10 students,” he said.
“I was responsible for leading and overseeing the learning and teaching of FNU-franchised courses, supporting and contributing to the teaching, development, implementation and evaluation of the subjects and ensuring its compliance with the school policies and procedures and learning goals.”
“In the Technology Department, I am now responsible for the same tasks, in addition to assisting in the development, implementation and evaluation of the programme, improving the learning and teaching of the program through student observations, assess and evaluate students’ learning outcomes of the subject daily and maintaining comprehensive and accurate records of student’s formative and summative learning outcomes of the subject.”
Bauro is also the Trainer and Assessor for the Building Construction Allied Trade Skills (BCATS) under the Building Construction Institution Training Organisation (BCITO) offered by the New Zealand Government at Motufoua Secondary School.
“It is a full-circle moment for me. After receiving another chance at formal learning and qualifications at this school years ago, I am now back in the TVET Department as a full-time teacher and sharing my knowledge, skills and experience with the younger generation.”
In 2017, Bauro returned to FNU to undergo studies in the Trade Diploma in Building course and graduated in 2019.
Words of Wisdom
Bauro credits his source of motivation as his parents, wife and three kids. “I am also inspired by the late Halofaki, who showed me that TVET was a viable and suitable method that provided me with a study and career pathway that aligned with my long-term goals.”
“My advice to current and prospective students of FNU would be to make use of the opportunity you have to study.”
“Many students who wish to pursue tertiary studies whether in TVET or Higher Education are facing their own difficulties in getting these qualifications, so if you have the chance to study, do so to the best of your ability.”
“I also want to emphasise and prove that TVET learning is not a place for failure. We are all gifted with different talents and skills and TVET is a way to become successful in life.”