20 September 2019 Apia Samoa. The EFKS Methodist Hall at Matafele was packed with family, friends and supporters of the 22 women and 18 men who graduated from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).
Samoa’s labour force now has additional qualifications in the areas of hospitality and tourism, plumbing, cookery, education support and fabrication.
Pastor Morgan Gegera who had himself graduated from APTC in 2015 spoke of the importance of making good life choices, adding that the decision to attend APTC is a good choice.
“Life is about choices, choices that can make you or break you,”
“O le olaga e atagaia mai ai le tele o faiga filifiliga, ma o le filifilia ai o le APTC ose filifiliga tonu lea.”
“O le olaga e atagia ai lau fai o filifiliga uma foi e faia ete lelei ma e te leaga ai fo’i”.
Pastor Gegera told the graduates that ones chatacter, happiness, certainty of decisions, ability to love, and to give to others is reflected by the choices they make in life.
“O lau amio e atagia ai lau filifiliga;
“O lou fiafia e atagia ai lau filifiliga;
“O lou faamoemoe ma lou mautinoa e atagia ai lau filifiliga;
“O lou alofa e atagia ai lau filifiliga;
“O lou lima foai e atagia ai lau filifiliga;
“O lou ava ma faaaloalo e atagia ai lau filifiliga,”
The Minister of Education Loau Keneti Sio delivered the keynote address to congratulate the graduates as well as APTC for the delivery of quality post school education and training in the trades sector.
“APTC has trained over 1,700 Samoans, 47 percent of whom are women, and over 14,000 people from the Pacific island countries in various technical fields, since the APTC operations in the Pacific were first launched in Samoa 2007.
““We commend you for your dedication, hard work and perseverance with your studies.”
The Minister’s speech also focused on the issue of gender equality in the Pacific, drawing the link between empowering women through education and domestic violence.
“I am very pleased to note that 22 of the 40 graduates are women. In my view, it is the economic empowerment of women through education and employment that should be recognized as a most effective way of combating the curse of domestic violence;
“As other people such as husbands and relatives come to depend on the money and other resources provided by the educated and gainfully employed women, the outcome must be respect and greater and consideration of that woman’s welfare and well-being, thereby offering a powerful and effective counter to the urge to resort to violence.”
APTC qualifications are recognised in Australia and New Zealand.