(SAMOA) — It has been said that education is a powerful weapon that can change the world.
With the completion of Salamasina Time's Bachelor Degree in Secondary Education, the villages of Tapueleele in Savai'i and Alamagoto in Upolu can now boast that one of their own is well armed with that weapon.
Graduating with honors in 2009 from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Vaiola College in Savai'i, Time's journey to complete the BA programme at NUS was not a smooth one.
It would take her nine years since high school graduation to attain the BA.
"Yes, it was a challenging journey. I dreamt of becoming a teacher when I was a little girl and I have accomplished my teacher goal with the help of my family and my husband's family," said Time. "There were some times I felt so weak and tired from lack of sleep but my family, especially my husband and daughter motivated me to go for it and finish it."
She did Foundation Year at NUS and received a certificate from the Faculty of Education in 2010.
"I dropped school in 2012," said Time. "I was hired at Marist Brothers Primary School Mulivai, teaching English for year 7 and 8 and Social Science for year 6."
In 2014, she returned to NUS to start on her four-year bachelor's journey.
"So many times I felt like quitting when there was a lot of work but felt like I didn’t have enough time to do it," she said. "My baby daughter Imelda Jacilene Delena Time was and is my number 1 motivation."
Her daughter and husband Charlie stood by her when she needed help with completing assignments and creating teacher resources. Financial obstacles also posed difficulties.
When the going got really tough, she found strength in prayer at the LDS Temple in Pesega.
"I would visit the Temple and get on my knees and pray for help," she recalled. "I want a successful future for my little girl and my family."
Her family, dad Vainalepa Pepe Talaipa, mom
Faitotoaolealofa Su’a Talaipa and grandmother
Filifili Su’a and siblings traveled from Tapueleele to celebrate her accomplishment.
Bishop Mulimai Manoa, a classmate from Vaiola, fellow Church members from Alamagoto Ward and in-laws from Alamagoto village also joined in to celebrate her success at NUS.
An English major with a minor in Computer Studies, Time is one of 155 NUS graduates who received their BA in Education April 6; 107 specialising in Primary Education and 48 in Secondary Education.
While some graduates have already been posted to government schools, she expects to receive her assigned school next week.
"My goals as a teacher is to educate the minds of my students with fun and correct learning...to have students aim for a future of success," she told tautalatala. "I want to engage the young generation with effective learning, to have them enjoy learning — and to achieve."
Having tasted success at the end of a trying nine years, Time is more than ready to take her place in her own classroom. Now a weapon herself, she is prepared to arm the next generation.