Student-led tutoring levels playing field
Levelling the playing field in education is the objective behind the student-led tutoring service NCEA Campus.
St Cuthbert’s College old girl Jade Leung started the not-forprofit organisation with a group of friends in 2012.
She has always had an interest in humanitarian causes and the importance of education can’t be underestimated, she says.
‘‘If you’ve got a good education under your belt you can typically get a lot further in life.’’
Miss Leung received the Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence.
She grew up in Remuera but has since moved to the city to be close to the University of Auckland where she is studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering.
In 2012 she made the Dean’s honours list for ranking in the top five per cent of students in her year group.
Her older sister Jane
is also achieving impressive results and has been awarded a Woolf Fisher Scholarship to study a PhD in chemistry at Cambridge University.
Being able to mix with students from all walks of life at the university has opened 19-year-old Jade’s eyes to the differences between our secondary schools.
At St Cuthbert’s College she received a lot of social support and encouragement from teachers.
Conversely, many students she has spoken to who attended lower decile schools say society expects them to fail.
But students can take charge of their own success, she says.
‘‘At the moment you’ve got a lot of different tools you can access to get yourself ahead in education,’’ she says.
‘‘You can go to revision courses, get personal tutoring, you can get extra textbooks but all of those things tend to come with some kind of financial barrier.’’
The NCEA Campus programme runs over the July and October holidays. Students can sign up for two-day intensive courses which concentrate on specific NCEA level 1, 2 or 3 subjects.
Students pay $20 a course and the ratio of one tutor to five or six students means courses can be personalised.
As well as the team of six volunteers who run the organisation, there are about 180 paid tutors who deliver the courses.
These are typically first and second-year university students who are recruited both for their academic knowledge and their ability to engage with students.
Initially the courses were held at Epsom Girls Grammar School but in October they expanded to also run at Manukau Institute of Technology.
Last year there were about 700 students enrolled and this year that figure has grown to just over 2500.
The next step is to keep spreading courses across Auckland as more funding comes in, she says.