Ni-Vanuatu women can - and do - lead
07 April, 2012
Rina Alau (front row, second from right) teaches students about electrical wiring at Australia Pacific Technical College in September 2011.
Teaching masonry and tile laying comes easily to Gail Waki, who is pleased that other young women want to learn the skills involved.
Whilst all but one of her technical and vocational education and training students at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT) in Port Vila are young men, the sole female student is as enthusiastic about the learning as Gail is in giving it. 'My girl student is greatly encouraged seeing me teaching and has a lot of confidence.
There's a lot to be learned - producing basic technical drawings, use of small plant equipment, erection of scaffolding, construction of block bases, and the list of fairly masculine sounding skills goes on” says Gail.
Fellow Australian scholarship holder, electrician Rina Alau, also has a complex teaching task to be tackled at her Ebule village outpost of Vanuatu Institute of Technology on the other side of Vanuatu's capital island of Efate.
Both young women received scholarships for the Australian Pacific Technical College, and then built upon their knowledge and skills through employment in the private sector. They are dedicated teachers to all their students, but also want to prove women can do anything - indeed everything, especially with non-traditional trades.
They have jointly led a course in the rural environment of Vanuatu's largest island, Espiritu Santo. Thirty participants achieved the nationally accepted TVET certificate after the training by the women.
Gail has been closely following her Level 1 female student through her first year of study and hopes to teach her Level 2 subjects as well. Her trainee is also greatly assisted by her father, himself a builder.
'The support is important” says Gail, “You need male family members and partners to back you up. If they are helping you, for sure you will succeed.'
Last Reviewed: 23 November, 2011