By TONY PALME
PEOPLE should not be happy with where they are in life but should strive to better their educational qualifications, and by extension, their lives.
This urging is from someone who himself has the constant desire to better his lot in life, especially through formal education. Tobias Yambe is from Middle Jimi in Jiwaka and has just recently graduated with a Master of Education in Digital Culture and New Learning Technologies from Griffith University in Queensland.
He taught at Father Peter (Fatima) Secondary School in Jiwaka for 11 years before applying for an Australian scholarship.
Yambe was always motivated by a strong desire to attain higher qualification, so coaxed on by his students and fellow teachers, the Jiwaka man looked to prospective sponsorship places.
“I searched and eventually was awarded an Australian Award Scholarship after successfully meeting its vigorous entry requirements.”
The former secondary school teacher not only passed the course, but was the dux of the 2015 Griffith English Language Institute programme 3 and graduated on July 19.
“My international study has been very challenging, not only academically, but cultural clashes and all aspects of my personality needed adjustments. But I am proud that I have survived and am at the end point of my years in Australia.”
Yambe said that, generally, Australian universities have world class standards thus their academic cultures are very competitive and Griffith University in Queensland is no exception.
He said the university has strict rules governing ethics and integrity, especially regarding plagiarism, copyright and ethical clearance for research.
“Thus, I am proud as a graduate of this renowned institution. The qualification that I obtain from here will surely pave the way for me to be employed anywhere in the globe or better still well-grounded for a higher degree research studies (PhD) in the near future,” Yambe said.
“After all, I like competitive study environments because they produce graduates who can survive in the competitive working fields of this 21st century.”
Now boosted by his qualification, the man from the ‘back pages’ of Jiwaka has taken a proactive approach to all aspects of work and personal life.
He sees himself as a role model who can have a positive influence eon the lives of others. He wants to work in a senior capacity in the education system where he can contribute.
“My research thesis, which was awarded a ‘distinction’, was based on exploring the varying effects of wireless-mobile phone text-messaging on the learning of English as the second language in mainstream classrooms.
“With the rich body of literature available and from data collection and analysis, the effects appear to be of both detrimental and benefitial.
“The challenge is for teachers to monitor students’ text usage in formal learning like essays and examinations while students need to be aware of the appropriate uses in various contexts.”
Yambe encourages colleagues and aspiring teachers to be smarter, be more informed and take further steps to be ahead of their students.
He pointed out that students are growing up in a world of technology and interacting in a virtual world and that form of informal education has made them more knowledgeable, better informed and more skilful than they appear to be.
“We might be on the verge of giving in, but it’s better to invest time and effort in improving our own knowledge and skills, thus keeping abreast of ever-changing technology.
“It is the individual’s desire to step up to changes, but educating the young of today is a shared responsibility. Therefore, education agencies and authorities must provide adequate support for regular in-services and training in institutions as well as sponsoring potential officers for higher qualifications.”
The Jiwakan acknowledges the support and contributions of many people and organisations in his studies abroad. He appreciates the contribution of former students, colleagues and friends in his growth. And he attributes his study success to God, through the prayers of family and wantoks.
By TONY PALME