Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Everything about teaching makes life worth living for 56-year-old Sudha Kant. The secondary school teacher at Vuci Mission has been in the teaching field for about 34 years and has enjoyed every minute of it.

With her bright smile and likeable personality, Sudha was elated when asked to share a bit about her career. Her reaction is what is expected of any teacher who has a lot of love and appreciation for their students.

But Sudha's journey to discovering her hidden passion was a rocky one especially growing up in a family of 13 children. Ninth in the family, Sudha was born and bred in Ba.

Her parents, Ranjit Singh and Ray Mati were both farmers who worked hard to provide for the needs of their big family. Living on a sugar cane farm, Sudha had to help out with family chores in and outside the home. Like her other siblings, Sudha worked in the farm, looking after the animals and even help with subsistence farming.

"Life then was very interesting although at the time I thought it was a hard life. Living on a farm is hard especially a sugarcane farm," she said. "We would work in the field every day and since there were a lot of us, there was no need for hired help.

"Apart from sugarcane, we did subsistence farming. We grew all kinds of dhal and this helped a lot with our big family. We used to get water from the well. Washing of dishes, clothes and bathing was done at the nearby river.

"Sometimes we would ride the horse to the river for a drink. Most importantly, I learnt how to swim every time I went down to the river." The burdens of life never ceased even when she started school. She attended primary school at Vatulaulau Sanatam Dharam before completing her secondary education at Ba Sangam High.

Sudha walked to school until she was in Class Five when her parents could afford to pay her bus fare. "My brothers and sisters used to walk to school too and I still remember how we used to walk in a single file like in school. In our time we had a lot of opportunities. When I was in Form Four in 1968, I wanted to do nursing.

"I was inspired by my friends who joined nursing school but my father said no. He wanted me to continue with school work and get an education. "He died when I was in Form Five and after that I got inspired to take up teaching. My mother was very strict but at that time it was very easy to get into teaching."

After completing Form Five, Sudha became a licenced teacher and started her profession teaching at three schools. She then decided to teach at Moto Sanatan Dharam primary which was closest to home.

She taught for a year before she completed her two-year training at Nasinu Teachers College.
Her first posting after she graduated from NTC was to Balebasoga school for a year. She lived with her sister in Labasa and in 1975 she moved to Nausori. She married Rajni Kant and is a mother of three.

"My two sons are teachers and their wives are teachers too. My daughter is in Form Six. "I taught at Dilkusha Girls most of my teaching life and for me teaching children from different backgrounds is the challenging aspect of this profession. "The future of our children is in the hands of teachers and as teachers we have to ensure that students are learning the right concept.
"My advice for those wanting to take up this profession is to be committed and dedicated especially at primary school level."

Adpted from Fijitimes Online