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close this section of the library Navila, Vilimaina Molidrau

View the PDF document Pacific cultural sustainability : a critical examination of initiative and possible advocacy programmes for iTaukei studies in schools
Author:Navila, Vilimaina Molidrau
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Date: 2012
Call No.: pac In Process
BRN: 1188953
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This is a qualitative study which examines the status of iTaukei cultural stakeholders in maintaining aspects of cultural sustainability in the status of iTaukei Studies in the school curriculum. The New International Webster’s Student dictionary (2002) defines the word sustainability as the capacity to endure, to keep up or maintain, to keep in effect or being, to withstand. In other words, sustainability is something that is used or treasured for today and ought to be maintained for the future generation or the potential for long term maintenance of well being. The thesis offers avenues that could be explored by the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) – iTaukei studies on ‘Re-thinking iTaukei Education’ as a bases from which to usefully analyse the present iTaukei curriculum and to explore possible alternatives. The investigation was done on two levels: firstly by looking at the current iTaukei studies prescription and assessing the mission, vision, aims and objectives and roles of the various iTaukei cultural stakeholders including teacher training institutions on curriculum advocacy of iTaukei studies in an effort towards cultural sustainability. Data came from three main sources: (1) the various iTaukei cultural institutions; and, (2) the Curriculum Development Unit within the Ministry of Education. The iTaukei cultural institutions include: The iTaukei Trusts Fund, ‘Tabana Ni Vosa kei Na I Tovo Vaka Viti’ (Institute of iTaukei Language and Culture, Ministry of iTaukei Affairs), Department of Culture and Heritage, (3) three tertiary institutions: iTaukei Studies (University of the South Pacific), Fiji National University (FNU) and University of Fiji. Other related group is the Retired Fijian Teachers Association (RFTA) and few iTaukei teachers of secondary schools. The study used direct interview questions to gather data and a kind of oral testimony called ‘talanoa’ that sought the views of curriculum officers of the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) and the retired iTaukei teachers. An observation report of the rapid cultural erosion amongst the younger iTaukei generation was enlightening as the voices strongly indicate a strong inherent desire for the adoption and recognition of the iTaukei studies in scho ols. iv The main views from the data are supported by literature that proposes the vitality of indigenous cultural knowledge. The study has proposed policy directions in line with the data collected and current literature. Consideration was also given to the writing of the iTaukei Studies curriculum to incorporate the agenda of the iTaukei cultural institutions. A number of issues and requirements that would ensure the easy adoption and transition of the policy have also been presented. The thesis recommendation addresses learning and achievement and celebrates the uniqueness of iTaukei cultural studies. It is argued that this would promote cultural sustainability amongst the future iTaukei generations of Fiji.
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