Miss Samoa Papali’i Alexandra Iakopo with students of Palauli College
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2017: The newly crowned Miss Samoa, Papali’i Alexandra Iakopo is using her new role to encourage students in Savai’i to explore various career pathways.
One of SQA’s mandated functions is to promote links and learning pathways between the School sector, PSET sector and offer career services.
Papali’i who is a Qualifications Officer at SQA attended the SQA’s National Career Day (NCD) held in Savai’i on Friday at the Don Bosco Hall, Salelologa.
Lifelong Learning was the theme for this year’s event. It emphasised learning as a lifetime activity and also advocates the message that learning does not stop at any educational level.
A National Career Day for Upolu was held on the 8th September at the TATTE Building. It was also the day she commenced her community work as the Miss Samoa.
“It was good to have this new role to further encourage and influence students in a good way,” said Papali’i.
“Most of the students wanted to take selfies but then I had to tell them to sit down and listen because this was a great opportunity to talk about their future career and answer questions they had.
“Some students were not sure when asked about their future goals and that is where SQA comes in and provide advice on career pathways. Other students think that when you say engineering its only fixing cars but there are other kind of engineering like civil engineering and more.”
More than 300 students from 20 Colleges in Savai’i filled the Don Bosco Hall at Salelologa for the NCD.
The number of students has increased this year compared to only 180 students turning up at the event last year.
SQA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Taua Molia Taioalo said the event is an opportunity for Post School Education Training (PSET) Providers to showcase their available programmes as well as an opportunity for employers to advise students of what they do and expected in the respective workplaces.
“The main opportunity of today’s activity is to provide information to college students, PSET students and the public on learning and career pathways and study options for further studies,” said Taua.
“It also allows more students to meet and network with employers and PSET providers.
“Students must value being educated and they have to choose their subjects wisely in connection with their aspired careers.”
Evidence of the NCD being successful is the increasing number of working students acknowledging the event being an open window that introduced them to their career pathways. A young nurse testified on being part of SQA’s first NCD in 2015 as a student and chose nursing as her aspired career after hearing information about it. This year, she attended the NCD in Savai’i as a nurse giving advise to students.
SQA acknowledged the support shown by the different Ministries, SOEs and companies that participated at their own expenses.
There were more than 20 government Ministries and companies that featured their booths at the NCD in Savai’i.
Similarly, various professions had their products and services showcased at TATTE Building for the NCD in Upolu.
The general feedback from participants pointed out the importance of the career day for students in terms of being aware of skills and qualifications they need to possess for different fields.
The majority of students were thankful for the opportunity they were given to have a platform to directly talk to different professional representatives.
The Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) hosted its first NCD in 2015 for both Upolu and Savaii. This year is the third year for its annual event targeting year 12 and 13 students.