PNG UNRE Chancellor Sir Rabbie Namaliu congratulating Augustine Galuwa, who graduated last year with a diploma in fisheries and marine resources.-Picture courtesy of UNRE
These are the words that will signify the coming of age of the university’s fisheries and marine resources (FMR) programme on Friday Nov 27, 2009 when UNRE Chancellor Sir Rabbie Namaliu confers bachelor’s degrees on five FMR pioneer graduates – Christopher Binabat, Joseph Kendou, Robinson Liu, Priscilla Warambin and Jane Wungun.
While the moment will no doubt be a proud one for the five and their families, it will be a prouder moment for the university, National Fisheries Authority, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), University of Bremen’s Centre for Marine Tropical Ecology (ZMT), Office of Higher Education and all those who collectively contributed to making the academic programme a success since its inception in 2006.
Many challenges including the lack of funding and teaching staff faced the programme designers when it was on the drawing board in 2005, but with determination and perseverance; and the strong professional will to bring into the higher education training a much needed skill that was lacking, they overcame these.
The fruits of their labour are the two female and three male students who will go down in history books as not only the first degree graduands of the programme but also as the first fisheries degree graduands in the country after more than 20 years.
With the world now focusing more and more on the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources and environment, the introduction of this course could not have come at a better time for the fisheries sector in the country as well as the South Pacific and the world as it provides a skilled and better qualified workforce for an industry that is rising internationally as a mainstay in the economy.
Meanwhile, also graduating on the day will be 16 students who will be awarded diplomas in fisheries and marine resources by Sir Rabbie.
They are the second batch of diplomats under the programme, the first group of seven students graduating in the inaugural FMR graduation ceremony last year.
Since the first 20 students were admitted in 2006, there has been an increase in applications from students throughout the country wanting to gain entry into the programme.
This year’s first year students also include seven
They move to UNRE’s affiliated campus,
UNRE expects to take in more Solomon Islanders for the same course next year.
For now, however, all eyes are on the five degree pioneers who will make history for the fisheries and marine resources programme, higher education training and the fisheries sector.