Caption: Panellists (from left-right) Ms Silina Tupua, Ms Kelesi Whippy, Mr Joeli Naleca and Mr Agni Deo Singh interview a student. Photo: SUPPLIED.
October 2, 2015. The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education together with the Ministry of Education, Teacher Unions, School Principals and Vice-Principals conducted a student-teacher interview for first year USP students who are intending to enrol in the pre-service teacher education programme in 2016.
The student-teacher interview which took place on 26 September 2015 provided an opportunity for the education stakeholders to come together to ensure that the best students are selected for teacher education.
There were 8 panels conducting the interview and each panel consisted of a representative from each of the education stakeholders, including a staff of USP’s School of Education (SOE).
In a briefing with the panel, Deputy Head of School Dr Govinda Lingam said that the first step towards quality education is the selection of the best candidates for teacher education.
On the same note, Head of School, Professor Konai Helu Thaman who is also the UNESCO Chair of Teacher Education highlighted that student-teacher interviews are important for the purpose of raising teacher performance and productivity.
According to a Senior Education Officer from the Curriculum Development Unit of the Ministry of Education Ms Sikiti Saukuru, this initiative was critical.
“The session is quite an enlightening one for us as educators and curriculum developers to gauge the right people for this noble profession,” Ms Saukuru said.
The general feedback from students was encouraging. For many of them, it was a very informative session as they became more aware of what good teachers entail.
While the interview sounded quite daunting for some students at the beginning, they were impressed with a number of important information about teachers’ work that the panellists shared with them.
For the others, it meant raising their performance standards in the courses and at the same time upholding morals and values befitting the teaching profession.
At the end of the interview, the panellists provided feedback highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of improving future student-teacher interviews.
SOE expressed its appreciation to the panellists and students for the successful student-teacher interview session.