More than 100 educators from Adventist schools in the Trans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) participated in a training workshop January 26-29, 2023, in Fiji.
The educators came from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu to attend the workshop at Fulton Adventist University College in Nadi. The theme of the training was “I Will Go — Quest for Integrity.”
The program consisted of six sessions: living Adventist school wellness; initiating effective Bible teaching; developing the special character of Adventist schools; walking the Quality Adventist Schools Framework (QASF); valuing essential characteristics of Adventist ethos that are declining in Adventist schools; and sharing best practices on how to effectively promote Adventist ethos in Adventist schools. Educators who successfully completed the workshop were encouraged to return to their respective schools and train their fellow staff on how to effectively promote and maintain Adventist ethos and identity.
The South Pacific Division was the major sponsor of the workshop in partnership with the TPUM, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji, the Sanitarium food company, and local missions and Adventist schools in the TPUM. Elisapesi Manson, education consultant to Adventist schools in Tonga, was the master trainer. Co-master trainers were Talonga Pita from Gilson College, Victoria, Australia, and Joe Benjamin from Sonoma Adventist College, Papua New Guinea.
One of the school principals who completed the workshop said the presentations were so innovative and moving, he is now more committed, with enhanced knowledge, to effectively promote Adventist ethos and identity in his school. An evaluation and monitoring process will follow to ensure that the educators successfully facilitate the workshop training to more than 1,200 teachers in Adventist schools in the TPUM by the end of March.
TPUM education director Mere Vaihola said revealing Jesus continues to be the primary goal of Adventist schools in Pacific Island countries.
“Revealing Jesus to promote excellence and nurture a thriving, Christ-centered learning community in shifting times such as now is increasingly challenging,” she said. “Declining Adventist ethos and identity in Adventist schools has been a growing concern in recent decades.”
The South Pacific Division established an Adventist Ethos Committee in 2020 to identify strategies to ensure Adventist ethos and identity are strongly evident in Adventist institutions to maintain distinctive Adventist schools. Two training workshops were commissioned to recommit, refocus, redevelop, and reengage staff to the Adventist ethos and identity in schools in the TPUM and the Papua New Guinea Union Mission in 2023.