2013: Reflections of the Sabeto Schools and Community Project (SSCP)


I was with the team for the first half of the project. I had to leave because of a teaching commitment in China which overlapped with the second week. I found this project to be an immensely rewarding and memorable experience of my career. My engagement with a group of highly motivated students and colleagues not only enabled us to achieve our aims but we also excelled in all our expectations.  A big thank you to the Queensland University of Technology Engagement Innovation Grant.

A picture speaks a 1000 words. So instead of explaining how the aims were achieved (in too many words), I have uploaded images (against each aim) which speak more than a 1000 words… .

Aim 1: To work with their fellow students from three faculties to pursue the aims and design of the schools and community components of the SSCP

A cohesive team made a big difference

A cohesive team made a big difference

A willing and able team ready to teach and dressed like the locals

Aim 2: To gain an understanding of the functioning of primary schools in Fiji, including the needs and aspirations in terms of ICT education.

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A computer lab set up at the two schools…with computers donated by QUT

Aim 3: To design, develop and integrate ICT related activities in classrooms

Active engagement with ICT

Knowledge sharing with teachers and students – Exhibit A

Knowledge sharing with teachers and students - Exhibit B

Knowledge sharing with teachers and students – Exhibit B

Aim 4: To be given the opportunity to observe and interact with members of the Sabeto Village community and pursue common aims in a community based project

Interactions occurred regularly with the villagers

Community Interactions – Exhibit A

Community interactions - Exhibit B

Community interactions – Exhibit B

Community interactions - Exhibit C

Community interactions – Exhibit C

Aim 5: To be provided with an opportunity for incidental learning via personal contact with teaching staff, primary school children and community members of the Sabeto district of Fiji

This is how the locals cook eels

New learning (Exhibit A) – This is how the locals cook eels

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New learning (Exhibit B) – “found a drinkable tree” Comment on Leo’s Facebook Page

Aim 6: To build on communication skills in terms of improving their intercultural competencies

Engaging at all levels of the community

Communication with the community – Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Communication with the community – Exhibit B

Aim 7: To develop lifelong friendships with teachers and members of the community

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Real world engagement and possible life long partnerships – Exhibit A

Real world engagement and possible life long partnerships – Exhibit B

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Real world engagement and possible life long partnerships – Exhibit C

Aim 8: …….(unstated)….

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And those life long memories of QUT students and staff involved in the SSCP Project…

...priceless

…priceless

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One Response to 2013: Reflections of the Sabeto Schools and Community Project (SSCP)

  1. I have been meaning to post here for a long time, but thought I had to sign up with WordPress. I’ve only just realised I can use my Twitter account!

    Vinesh, I agree we were able to meet those aims extremely well and largely because of all the time you and the team put into building the relationships with the community and planning a worthwhile project. It was extremely humbling to be a part of this experience and months later, my passion and commitment to projects such as these in developing countries has only grown. Congratulations on all your work so far and I look forward to contributing to further projects for years to come!

    (I wonder if anyone can pick who is the staff member in the second last photo??? It illustrates another great aspect of this project: working together with students as equal partners, not as their teachers. I learned so much from them, and enjoyed their company and our new friendships.)

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