Dr Bernadette Aihi


Dr Bernadette Aihi

  • PhD Graduate
  • Port Moresby Campus
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Phone: (675) 325 5668
  • Fax: (675) 325 5266



  Dr Aihi graduated from the Universisty in 2011 and currently works at the Port Moresby campus.

The journey for me began in April of 2004 when the agreement between Divine Word University and the European Union was signed. However nothing much happened until September of 2004 when the actual PhD program was launched. At the start of 2005 academic year, we moved into the small Post Graduate room adjacent to the Printery. We had a room to work from but no resources because the library only had resource materials for Communication, Business and Religious fields but not Education. Paul and I did not know where to start from and what to start with. Apart from some assistance from Professor Denis McLaughlin there was very little or no guidance at all. Professor Gary Tromph and two other Professors in fields other than Education were brought over from overseas by the European Union who spent one or two sessions with us.

At the start of 2006 academic year we were fortunate to have Br. Professor Roger Vallance who became my co-supervisor. Professor Pam Norman was my supervisor. Br. Professor Vallance brought with him a whole bookshelf of resource materials and not only that but the electronic database to work with. From then on a good progress was made. I made my initial visits to primary schools such as Ranara in March and August of 2005 and Ambunti in May 2005. In 2006, I visited Ambunti again as well as Saidor, Bongu, Drekikier, Baklo and Mersei. In 2007, I visited Ambunti, Bongu, Mersei and Tauta.

In order to collect my data from Tauta primary school I had to walk for five to six hours up the Finisterre mountains. During that walk, I lost my big toe nail due to it being bruised. In visiting Mersei we had to pull the dingy through channels, sometimes trees fell over the channels so we had to crawl under the fallen trees with dingy and motor and all. It is a lifetime experience for me.

I started my actual writing in 2007 and completed it all in December 2008. I then submitted my thesis for examining in April 2009. I got my results back in June 2009. I then worked on the changes that were requested and resubmitted in December 2009. In April of 2010, I was told verbally that my thesis had been passed but I had to wait till all formalities and processes were completed. So now on 6th March all the processes and protocols have been taken care of, I can say the Goal has been achieved. It is a lonely road that requires a lot of commitment and sacrifices of one’s time. Case studies of eight schools, four in East Sepik Province and four in Madang Province were done as part of my studies.