FNU alumnus and primary school teacher Shamil Nair believes that hard work and perseverance are key to achieving one’s goals.
Nair enrolled in the Bachelor of Primary Education programme at the Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Humanities and Education (CHE) at Natabua Campus in Lautoka, after completing high school.
“I worked very hard to get enough marks to make the cut and be eligible for Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) as I knew I would not be able to afford fees for it otherwise. Also, teaching has its own perks. There are long holiday periods, and I knew this would be good for me as I would be able to go back home and help out on the sugarcane farm.”
Born and raised in Nadrala, a farming community located in the interior of Sigatoka approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the town, in an extended family, Nair was never one to shy from hard work.
“I lived with my parents, two brothers and my aunt. My father was the sole breadwinner, and we relied on sugarcane farming. It was difficult for my father, so my brothers and I would help him on the farm as well as try to find alternative income whenever we could. We usually did this by playing the traditional Indian musical instrument, “Shehnai”, at weddings and other ceremonies that people hired us for.”
Waiting for TELS results was nerve-wracking, so Nair and his family were elated when the results came in, and he was offered TELS. Nair was excited for his journey ahead and embarked on a new pathway with high hopes.
“The studies were different from high school. It took some time to adjust to the new environment and also staying away from home was tough, but I adapted well.”
Nair graduated in 2017 and was posted to Veinuqa District School in Namosi as a Relieving Teacher.
“I had some teaching experience which I had obtained during our compulsory attachments while studying, so I was not nervous. Instead, I was excited because I knew I would be solely responsible for a class and teaching them all subjects.”
In 2018, he was posted to Chauhan Memorial School in Veisari as an Assistant Teacher. This is where he currently teaches.
“I have been teaching for almost three years now, and I can proudly say that I have not gotten bored. I still enjoy it. Every day is different, and I get to learn something new. Seeing students excel and proceed to their next year of studies is very satisfying.”
He is currently teaching Year Six, and his favourite subjects to teach are Healthy Living and Social Studies.
Sharing his FNU experience, Nair said, “My university life was great. It was a different experience but a good one. I made good friends and have some of my best memories from my FNU days.”
He credits his success to his parents and his lecturers for their continued support and guidance that led to him completing his degree.
In his advice to current and future students of FNU, Nair Said, “Set your priorities right. Focus on your goals, and you shall succeed. Remember, keep your eyes on the prize.”
His top three tips for graduates starting out in their career is to aim high, work hard for what you want in life and persevere to achieve your goals.
Nair loves to ride his horse, take part in cultural activities and listen to music in his spare time.