I guess the debate is nearing end. However, I wish to congratulate Joyce Maetoloa for boldly making her point. It takes courage for someone to throw in his or her hut into the ring or the main domain of public debate in a globe of media freedom and allow the public to dissect and scrutinise it. Discussion such as this often led to misunderstanding, but I'm glad that you've decided to raise this sensitive issue.
Reading through all the contributions, I concluded that the tourism course at SICHE needs foreign lecturers just like any other course for the purpose of providing alternative perspective, but not the kind/type of lectures that are currently available in Honiara at the moment. The spouses and partners of RAMSI, diplomatic corp and aid agencies' officials in Honiara. I agree that education sector should be inclusive in our search for the best people to work/lecture at SICHE and other educational institutions in the country. But it cost heaps and the better one overseas are costly.
On the other hand, we shouldn't over-look our own local qualified lecturers for the reason that they are less better than white-men or women. This is a wrong mentality and misconception so we shouldn't entertain it. My support being inclusive in the employment of foreigners is a delicate balance between providing job security for our own trained manpower (the right people) and tapping on foreign expertise to provide alternative perspectives/views that we might not otherwise see them the way they do.
So I disagree with earlier comments and contributions by current SICHE students that locals are incompetent and foreigners are better qualified and equipped. While I agree that we should strike a balance and be sensible about being inclusive, we need to be careful about the perception that our own people are not capable because it might come back to haunt the perpetrators of this misconception when they graduate and later seek employment.....white people are better than you syndrome (it is full of garbage!).
It might sound contradict in some ways, but tourism is a new industry in the country and we need to seek "very specific" assistance and up-to-date knowledge, but on the same token, believe in the competence of our own people - and there are many of them. Aid donors forgetim nepotism business yah. Do what you have all along preach in third world countries, anti-corruption and merit-based employment and stop the rot of recruiting unqualified spouses, wives, friends and relatives of local staff. It isn't fare and I'm sure if it is done by locals, it would be called 'Wantokism" and "Corruption".
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Ma'ungasua D Angiki and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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