More than 200 principals, teachers and educational leaders attended the Trans Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) Educational Leaders’ Conference in Fiji.
TPUM president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga officially opened the conference, which was held at Fulton College, Sabeto, July 3-5, and themed “O Lord, Expand my Horizon”.
In his devotion, Pastor Kaufononga shared the importance of having the same focus. “We need to align our vision and mission of our education system to one purpose and goal of the Church,” he said.
Dr Hudson Kibuuku, General Conference associate education director, was the keynote speaker. Workshop presenters included Dr Leigh Rice, Dr Carol Tasker, Dr Daryl Murdoch, Dr Kym Simoncini, Dr Elisapesi Manson, Dr Nemani Tausere, Dr Rejieli Liligeto, Pastor Kaufononga, Christina Hawkins and Rosalie McFarlane.
About 12 participants received a Principal’s Award in honour of service. “The TPUM Education Department would like to say thank you for your exceptional work and paramount dedication through the years,” TPUM education director Bev Norman said.
“As you start the next chapter of your life, know that you will be sorely missed. We will miss your professional expertise, mentorship and your friendship.”
A special dinner was held at the end of the conference, at which Pastor Kaufononga and the other workshop presenters served the teachers to recognise their dedicated service in the schools.
“I enjoy the way the presenters presented their topics—the explanations were very clear and contextualised to the life we are living, especially in the Pacific Island schools,” said one of the participants.
“The presenters touched on issues that are affecting my school and [provided] great solutions.”
After the conference, the participants visited some of the Adventist schools in Fiji. Dr Kibuuka joined the participants in visiting Lautoka Seventh-day Adventist Primary School and encouraged the students to remain faithful to God and strive for excellence in their academic work.
At Naqaqa Seventh-day Adventist Primary School, in Ra Province, the chief of the village was present to welcome the visitors. Head teacher Sakeasi Nakau shared how God has led throughout their recovery from Cyclone Winston, which destroyed all the classrooms in 2016. With strong community and government support, the school was rebuilt. The visitors donated a total of $FJD700 to the school.