Cel­e­brat­ing 20 BEST years with new Pre-teacher qual­i­fi­ca­tion

Auckland City Harbour News - - Education & Training -

Best Pa­cific In­sti­tute of Ed­u­ca­tion is cel­e­brat­ing 20 years of im­prov­ing Pa­cific lives through ed­u­ca­tion and on this an­niver­sary, is hon­our­ing the strong sup­port of the Pa­cific com­mu­ni­ties at the heart of its suc­cess.

“We­would­not­be­where we are to­day with­out the sup­port of th­ese com­mu­ni­ties,” says BEST sales man­ager Penny Cu­sack. “They have sup­ported our mis­sion to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion and bet­ter job choices, and given us the back­ing which has en­abled us to grow and suc­ceed.”

Ueligi­tone Mal­ifa of Ocea­nia Com­mu­ni­ca­tions 2000, a Pa­cific Is­land me­dia con­sul­tant work­ing with BEST, echoes Penny’s com­ments. “For 20 years our com­mu­ni­ties, the moth­ers and fa­thers, aun­ties and un­cles - the whole ex­tended fam­ily and the Pa­cific Is­land church com­mu­nity - have em­braced BEST for the chance it gives to our sons and daugh­ters to have an­other go at ed­u­ca­tion,” says Ueligi­tone.

“BEST has a re­spect and un­der­stand­ing of Pa­cific cul­ture and needs. It gives Pa­cific peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to value ed­u­ca­tion, and to value their role in New Zealand.”

Though BEST is cel­e­brat­ing the suc­cesses of the past, it con­tin­ues to move for­ward, up­dat­ing and in­tro­duc­ing new pro­grammes to meet the chang­ing ed­u­ca­tional needs of Auck­land’s Pacifi com­mu­ni­ties.

A new pro­gramme is launch­ing this year with the aim of re­dress­ing the im­bal­ance of Pa­cific Is­land teach­ers in schools, par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas where there is a high pro­por­tion of Pacifi chil­dren. The Cer­tifi in Pre-Teacher Ed­u­ca­tion (Level 4) pro­vides the first step for stu­dents who want a teach­ing ca­reer. At the end of the 36-week course, a grad­u­ate can progress into fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion and, even­tu­ally, into their new ca­reer.

To’aiga Su’a-Huirua, BEST Com­mu­nity Re­la­tion­ship Con­sul­tant and a mem­ber of the new Pre-Teacher Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gramme’s de­vel­op­ment team, sees the course as a pos­i­tive step to mak­ing long-term im­prove­ments in ed­u­ca­tion for young Pa­cific peo­ple.

“By hav­ing more trained teach­ers who un­der­stand the home and­cul­tur­al­back­ground of Pa­cific stu­dents in schools, we could re­duce the bar­ri­ers to learn­ing that cur­rently ex­ist. Too many of our young peo­ple leave ed­u­ca­tion with low or no qual­i­fi­ca­tions,” says To’aiga.

The pro­gramme, which starts in July, is al­ready at­tract­ing in­ter­est. Se­lec­tion is based on per­sonal at­tributes, not on past qual­i­fi­ca­tions. “We are look­ing for peo­ple who are keen and com­mit­ted to work­ing with chil­dren - and who re­ally want to make a dif­fer­ence,” says To’aiga.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact BEST on 0800 425 624.

Fol­low the leader: Efaraimo Saner­ivi has a chal­leng­ing role in the Re­tail Credit Cen­tre of a ma­jor bank, and be­lieves study­ing at BEST was a vi­tal step­ping stone to his suc­cess­ful ca­reer.

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