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Glen Tuala - Pasifika Advisory Officer, Correspondence School. explains the flexibility that the Correspondence School can offer in developing a more personalised learning programme for Pasifika students.
My name is Glen Tuala, and I’m the Pasifika advisor for Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, otherwise known as the Correspondence School. Part of my work is to help increase the capability of the staff and the students within the correspondence school a little bit about this school it is one of the largest schools in New Zealand. we teach right across the compulsory sector from ECE right up to secondary and we have a presence nationally for, originally for those who learning in a distance context but recently for engaging those student who are, for whatever reason outside of the mainstream education system. So as Pasifika advisor it’s my job to make sure that as an organisation that Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu is making a positive contribution to the targets set out in the Pasifika education plan for 2007 – 2017. Also aligning with that are some of the other ministry targets in terms of better public services. So one of our main targets at secondary is helping to raise the achievement to 85% of our Pasifika, prior to the learners at NCEA Level 2, how we feel we could contribute to this mahi is for those students who have come to us out of mainstream for whatever reason we feel that we are a good option to come onto our role through the various gateways we provide, try and pick up those credits that they need in order to gain their level one, and especially the a NCEA level 2 as we recognise that those that leave school with a NCEA level 2 have a good chance of going onto higher learning in the tertiary sector and just right across the trades and other vocational pathways that NCEA level two is very important as a base or a foundation for them to launch their careers from. And so we really believe that for Pasifika we do have a part to play in realising that goal.
So some of the practical support that we might be able to offer our Pasifika students, as I mentioned we have the flexibility, I suppose, we offer the flexibility to the students to their parents and their families and within their communities to be able to come on to our role with a real target and we offer that flexibility with the time frames that they might want to adhere to they have the goal of getting into a particular course in tertiary. We are able to offer them certain credits in all subjects across NCEA, from levels one through three, right up into scholarship, and so we’re able to feel that we could be doing a lot more for those particular students who might not be aware of takura, especially the families, the Pasifika families who really don’t know that we could be an option for them, in terms of our educators and teachers who are dealing with Pasifika students, we do have in development an engaging Pasifika program which will be made available online to the sector, internally first, but we do hope to roll it out for those who wish to make use of it. And it’s a blend of online learning, and then also some face to face facilitation. Just to help increase that capability across the sector we don’t usually have the capacity in the schools of Pasifika teachers, but we do realise there are teachers who have a real heart for Pasifika student and so we want to draw upon that good will and we want to make that work for our Pasifika learners.