Dux award surprises Vasuinadi
He gave up hope after failing Year 11, but family’s life struggles drove him to seek education excellence.
It was beyond Kalivati Vasuinadi’s dream that he’d be presented with the Dux award after he had failed his Year 11 annual exam four years ago.
The second eldest of four siblings, Mr Vasuinadi said when he had failed his annual exam in 2013, he thought that was the end of the road for his education and had decided to settle as a farmer. “I had seen how much my parents were struggling so I decided to come back to school, but at an institution where I could graduate fast and earn for my family,” he said.
The automotive engineering certificate graduate could not hold back tears as he marched up on stage yesterday to receive the award during the Montfort Technical Institute graduation in Savusavu. He scooped the top award in a roll of 42, who graduated in three different categories - automotive engineering, building and carpentry, and cabinet making. “This came as a total surprise for me and I am humbled and honoured to have been deemed worthy for this award,” the 20-year-old said.
His mother, Vilimaina Vakalalavale, said her son’s achievement yesterday also came as a shock to her. Ms Vakalalavale said her son was now the family’s ray of hope for a better life in the near future when he finds employment. With tears flowing, the mother of four recalled how much they had sacrificed to put her son through school. “My husband is a yaqona farmer, but does not earn much. To supplement our income, I would engage in Masi production,” Ms Vakalalavale said. “With whatever we could get, we invested in our children’s education. When he decided to stay home for a year in 2014, he saw how much we struggled and requested if he could return to school to help our family. “Two years after he enrolled, he has successfully completed his studies and a trophy is an icing on the cake.” Edited by Naisa Koroi
Montfort Institute of Technology 2016 Dux Kalivati Vasuinadi (in garland) with his family at the graduation yesterday.