Childhood of Romano Morsen
On March 5, 1990, in Nieuw Nickerie, Suriname the great and passionate educator Romano Raj Morsen was born.. His parents are Seeta Bagwan and Guno Morsen. Mother Seeta Bagwan is originally from Guyana and has been living in Suriname for over 50 years. Romano is the youngest of four siblings, with one sister and three brothers. He grew up in a single-parent family, as his parents separated when he was 3 years old. Due to the separation, Seeta Bagwan had to work at 3 to 4 different places as a single mother to provide for her four children. Despite the challenges of providing for her children, she always instilled the value of “I may not have material wealth to give you, but what I can provide is a good education and love.”
Romano attended the Public Elementary School, completed the first three years of MULO, and completed the VWO in Nickerie with good admission results. At the age of 18, he moved to Paramaribo. The initial months in Paramaribo were challenging as he left his mother after many years and had to adapt to a new and larger environment. In Paramaribo, he lived with his brothers who had moved there earlier. Romano always used his mother’s words as a life motto and applied them to achieve everything he desired. His study period was relatively smooth, consistently excelled in his academic results, which he considered a pattern of striving for excellence. He proudly completed his Master’s degree with a grade of 9.
Upon arriving in Paramaribo, Romano started working in a call center. His routine for about a year looked as follows:
- 03:00 AM – Wake up
- 04:00 AM – 07:45 AM – Morning shift
- 08:00 AM – 01:30 PM – Bachelor study
- 02:00 PM – 05:30 PM – Afternoon shift
- 06:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Administrative work at the gym
In his second year, he joined the educational team of Vocational Education at the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture. He graduated from his Bachelor’s study at the age of 21 and began his teaching career, focusing on pedagogy for School Media Library staff. Romano has now been in the field of education for over 12 years.
Determination and Perseverance
In his younger years, Romano witnessed his mother being a victim of domestic violence. At the age of three, Seeta fled with her four children from their home. Even as a young boy, Romano understood that the environment he grew up in was not healthy. He knew that he didn’t want his children to experience such a life. So, he turned the negative experiences into life lessons, avoiding similar situations with the support of his mother, brothers, and sister. The determination of his mother made Romano realize that regardless of one’s background and beliefs in destiny, anything is achievable. His mother’s resilience resulted in her owning a house today and being able to travel at least once or twice a year. They never forget where they came from. Determination, perseverance, and love for each other ensured that all siblings were supportive and could achieve what they could afford today. Romano always says to everyone who crosses his path: “Your life, your future, and destiny are in your mind, and as an individual, you can create them”.
After two years, the position of Education Manager became available at the Nursing College, and without hesitation, he was appointed to oversee 16 programs, including 3 bachelor’s and 13 post-basic programs. As a member of the management team, Romano played a vital role in further positioning COVAB in the Surinamese community, solidifying its indispensable status. Notably, Romano was the only educational expert within the COVAB team. During his tenure as Education Manager, he also completed his Master’s degree at Anton de Kom University. Romano, in his capacity as Education Manager, was responsible for accrediting the programs. The Director of COVAB acknowledged Romano’s efforts in giving COVAB the identity of an educational institution.
After some time, Romano received an offer from the University of Suriname. Following discussions with COVAB’s board, he commenced part-time teaching in Education at the University. As time passed, Romano faced a challenging decision: leaving COVAB to dedicate himself full-time to the University. Pursuing an academic career and transforming education had always been his dream. In his first year of full-time commitment, he became the Program Coordinator for the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in Educational Sciences and Education. Within a year, he was responsible for accreditation. Simultaneously, Romano taught for approximately ten years at the Teachers Training Vocational Education (LOBO), covering subjects such as Psychology, Didactics, Pedagogy, Personal Development, and Coaching. He served as a thesis supervisor and co-evaluator. In the last three years at LOBO, he was also the Program Coordinator for the Education program.
Romano taught for over seven years at the Teachers Training Institute (IOL), offering courses like Methods and Techniques, Action Research, and Pedagogy for the Pedagogy and Professional Development programs. He mentored numerous students with their thesis projects at IOL. He served as the Secretary of the Examination and Test Committee at both PTC and the International School for Business in Suriname for three and four years, respectively. Additionally, Romano provided consultancy services to institutions and the Ministry of Education, where he recently contributed to the new education policy of the Ministry of Education for primary and secondary education.
Approximately a year and a half ago, Romano emigrated to Aruba after being approached by the University of Aruba. He started as an educational specialist responsible for accrediting programs, training teachers, and developing policies and protocols related to education. Recently, Romano was appointed as the Quality Manager at the University of Aruba.
Romano, a born teacher, advocates for educators. Even at a young age, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in education, expressing his desire to become a teacher on the fourth day of school at the age of four. Just as he did in Suriname, he continues to work towards placing competent and resilient educators in the job market in Aruba.
Growth through experience
One of the core values of an impassioned teacher is to show authenticity. A setback that Romano once experienced in his life was being a victim of bullying. As his mother worked as a janitor at the school he attended, he stayed after school to help her, which led to him being bullied. Additionally, Romano was bullied for his skin color and perceived poverty. Aside from the bullying related to poverty, Romano went through a prolonged journey until the age of 25, leading him into an identity crisis. Romano always struggled with his identity as a man. It was a challenging journey that resulted in him being suicidal twice. At the age of 25, Romano decided to accept himself as he is and how he feels, openly acknowledging this in what is commonly referred to as ‘coming out of the closet.’
Closing Remarks Romano
Operate from your authentic self. Act based on what you genuinely believe as an individual. If you truly believe in your dreams and goals, nature will act in a way that opens up paths for you to reach your destination. Speak what is in your heart. Believing in yourself is crucial. As an individual, you are your own source of inspiration. Set a goal and work purposefully towards it.
Message to educators:
The moment you step into the space to teach, stand in your power as an educator. From there, you will create a pleasant and secure learning environment, providing inspiration. Your inspiration will resonate with the students. One candle can light another candle.
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