One hundred fourteen students from the Fiji National University’s (FNU) National Training & Productivity Centre (NTPC) graduated with Certificates, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas in an elaborate ceremony at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva yesterday.

For 54-year-old Vijendra Rao, graduating with a TAFE NSW Advanced
Diploma of Leadership and Management from NTPC’s Department of National
Productivity & Industry Innovation is a lifelong achievement that he is
proud of accomplishing. More so, given that Rao was also bestowed the
prestigious TAFE Excellence Award during the ceremony for his remarkable
efforts during the year and a half programme.

“From the day I started the course, I made sure that I do well to grasp
the new leadership skills that the course taught,” Rao said.

“I am very grateful that my hard work paid off, and I was awarded this
excellence award,” he added.

Rao was also thankful to NTPC for making this programme available in
Tavua as there was not an NTPC/FNU Campus in the area.

“The fact that this advanced diploma programme was made available for us
working students at Tavua College really helped make up my mind to pursue it.
It was convenient and helped us manage our work, family life and studying as we
did not have to travel long distances to other campuses in the Western Division
where this course was offered,” he said.

Rao who is a section supervisor at the Vatukoula Gold Mines PLC (Fiji),
said given the hazardous nature of the mining business, management relies a lot
upon supervisors like him for leadership to ensure work continues without any
incidents or accidents.

“Mining can be a hazardous business if there is bad management or
leadership. I have been supported by my employer to pursue this programme, and
I will use what I have learnt to lead the workers in the right direction,” he

Another successful graduate and awardee of the TAFE Excellence Award,
Seemal Chandra said she was highly appreciative of the flexible nature of the
programmes offered at NTPC. Chandra who transitioned from tourism and
hospitality short courses into the diploma programme said being able to study
for an Australian certified course was quite an attraction for her.

Chandra implored others to take the chance to upskill themselves when
the opportunity arises as ‘the process of learning never stops’. 

“I was quite fortunate that my employers are accommodating enough for me
to study and work. It’s all a matter of negotiating with your employers and
showing them the benefits you will bring on with your new skills,” she added.

The FNU graduation continues today at the FMF Gymnasium with the College
of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies (morning session) and College of
Engineering, Science and Technology (afternoon session).

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