The technological revolution is leading the way by transforming machines to become more efficient and productive.
To ensure the future generation is well-versed with these technological advancements, the role of industrial arts teachers is critical as they educate students with the necessary knowledge, provide hands-on skills to understand, operate and service machine equipment in a timely and efficient manner.
These are the comments of Fiji National University (FNU), College of Humanities and Education (CHE), Senior Lecturer, Indar Deo.
Deo said Industrial Arts teachers, also referred to as vocational or technical teachers, play a significant role in the training of future electricians, carpenters, welders, mechanics and builders.
“The function of an industrial arts teacher is to teach a various range of vocational subjects encompassing engine repair, heating and air-conditioning systems, welding, metal or woodworking.”
“Given the technological advancement, an industrial arts teacher will also teach computer technology, and computer-aided design (CAD),” he said.
Deo is encouraging school leavers to enrol in the Bachelor of Education (Industrial Arts) if they aspire to empower students with the knowledge of how things work and how to build and fix them.
“If you want to make a difference and give students a break from the fixed undertaking of passive learning and offer them skills that they can carry into the real world to an earn a living, then enrol in our programme,” he said.
To become an industrial arts teacher, Deo said that students must have a broad and in-depth knowledge of mathematics and related science areas such as physics, chemistry and biology.
The senior academic emphasised that the undergraduate studies in Industrial Arts will provide an opportunity to teach a wide variety of subjects, including metal and wood.
“There is a huge demand for Industrial Arts teachers, and this job will enable you to pursue subjects you love without having to commit to one,” he said.
Emosi Tuibabasiga, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Education (Industrial Arts), said that there is never a dull moment during the industrial arts class.
“The programme is giving me the chance to specialise in industrial art and education and also open up job prospects in other areas,” the Vanualevu lad said.
Tuibabasiga said that the programme allows him to be qualified to teach students who will be future engineers, welders and auto mechanics.
“I am looking forward to becoming an industrial arts teacher and design and implement curriculum for the future engineers of this nation,” he said.
Final year-student Ashnil Lal said to become an industrial arts teacher one needs to be detail-oriented, creative and able to handle multiple tasks.
“Good communications and interpersonal skills are vital in working as an industrial arts teacher.”
“Studies at FNU is preparing me well to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, and the practicum component is teaching me to be organised and develop time management skills,” he said.
Lal, who is an in-service student, emphasised that becoming an industrial arts teacher requires a high level of skill which includes the mastery of industrial arts and most importantly, the expertise in teaching.
“One will not succeed as an industrial arts teacher if they are unable to teach woodworking skills to others. Pursue studies in this programme if you want to improve your abilities as an educator,” said Lal.
By enrolling in this programme, Lal aims to strengthen his knowledge of technical skills and effective teacher education.
Students wishing to enrol in Bachelor of Education (Industrial Arts) programme must fulfil the requirement of an aggregate mark of 250 in the Year 13 External Examination with a pass of 50% in English, 50% in Introduction to Technology and 50% in two other relevant subjects.