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A call to teach

Sailosi Batiratu
Tuesday, February 05, 2013

HE is originally from Namukalau, or Namu'alau as locals would have it, in the district of Dogotuki, Macuata Province. Jale Tunaulu, the principal at Rewa Secondary School, has maternal links or is a vasu of Dravuwalu, Totoya, Lau, and Ucunivanua Verata, Tailevu.

His parents are Kalisito Tunaulu, a former manager at the Fiji Development Bank, and Bibiana Tunaulu. His mum was once formally employed but Jale says she had to resign because of their dad being transferred around Fiji.

Jale is the eldest of seven siblings — five boys and two girls..

Of the seven Jale says: "We are all married with our own families but sadly one of my brothers, Roger, passed away four years ago.

"We are a very close-knit family — always finding an excuse to be together."

He began his teaching career in 2000 — prior to that had pursued other courses at two other tertiary institutions, the then Fiji Institute of Technology (FIT) and the Pacific Regional Seminary (PRS).

He also had a two-year stint with the Fiji Electricity Authority.

Jale graduated from the University of the South Pacific (USP) with a bachelor's degree majoring in education and history/politics.

His first posting was to Waidina Secondary School in Naitasiri where he was for a year. Jale then moved to the Capital City and taught at Cathedral Secondary School for three years, His next posting was to the island of Ovalau where he taught at St John's College for eight years, Next up was Vunisea Secondary School where the Dogotuki man spent a year.

2013 sees him at the helm at Rewa Secondary School.

Jale was the head of department, HOD, social science while he was at St John's College and assistant principal at Vunisea Secondary School.

With the benefit of hindsight he now says teaching is his calling or vocation and would have pursued teacher training straight after leaving high school instead of attending FIT and PRS.

Describing this calling Jale says: "I enjoy working with young people and helping to develop them, their talents and skills.

"It's always rewarding to see the transformation in their lives."

And now that he is back on the mainland, Jale says further studies are definitely on the cards.

He has made some observations on how things could be improved at Rewa Secondary but says he will need to first consult the school manager and the board of governor before implementing any changes.

Apart from mainstream academic classes, Jale says students at Rewa Secondary School also have vocational studies with carpentry and joinery plus catering and fashion designing.

Jale has been married to Tuliana Lubi from the village of Vuaki in the Yasawa Group for 15 years and they have six beautiful children — three boys and three girls. "I'd love to have more — only time will tell," he quipped.

"Tuli is a teacher as well, our paths just happened to cross at USP and the rest is history as they say," Jale said and pointed out he is very grateful to have had an understanding woman by his side for the past 15 years.

Their eldest is now following his father's and uncles' footsteps at Marist Brothers' High School.

Though retirement is not eminent, Jale says he "would love to return to Savusavu and live there with Tuli — enjoy the peace, tranquillity and ocean view from Naverea".

Once there, he would definitely love to indulge more in his hobbies of singing, listening to music, reading, cooking and baking,

The newly-appointed principal says credit must go to his late dad and especially mother for the prayers, advice and sacrifices she has made for his education and that of his six siblings. He owes his mother a special debt for bearing with him, especially being the eldest, for that period in his life as he puts it "not certain where I was heading — from institution to institution".

He is also thankful to his siblings Roger (RIP), Usaia, Rafaele, Laticia, Georgina, Valerio and their spouses — for their constant assistance and advice.

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