Burmese women get qualified
already signed up for this year’s programme, but Barrett said there was still room for more.
‘‘We should be doing what we can to give kids positive experiences.’’
The father of one said Shoebox Christmas was an ideal way for parents to encourage their chil- dren to do something for someone else.
‘‘There’s no guidelines, but remember it’s for a kid to open on what’s meant to be the happiest day of the year.’’ Eight Burmese women graduated from a home-based educators’ course in Porirua last month and are about to start work, caring and educating children in their own homes.
Caregiver and mother of two, Dawt Hlei Fung, said she was grateful to be given the chance to study. ‘‘I am so excited and so pleased – very happy.’’
Dawt worked as a librarian in her own country, and had studied for three years to get a library qualification, but it was a step up to study in English.
Another of the graduates, Hkawn Mai, who had three children and was expecting another, said she would keep working to improve her English and become a good educator.
‘‘I really appreciate this chance, which has given me wisdom to work with children.’’
Hkawn Mai worked with young children in Myanmar, but said the system was different here, because children had more freedom, were given more praise and not forced into learning.
The women were part of the Etu Ao home-based network run by Whanau Manaaki Kindergartens. Most of the home educators are informal carers for family or friends who then take the next step by training.
The children follow a programme based on the early childhood curriculum Te Whariki, and are supervised by visiting teachers and attend a playgroup.