Ed­u­ca­tion to con­nect with Asia


A Kaikohe teacher has been se­lected for a trip which will see ed­u­ca­tors from New Zealand and In­done­sia cre­ate con­nec­tions be­tween stu­dents in both coun­tries.

Brent Strathdee-Pehi, a mu­sic teacher at Okai­hau Col­lege, will travel to In­done­sia in the Oc­to­ber school hol­i­days as part of the In­done­sia Cul­tural Con­nec­tions Trip, fa­cil­i­tated by the Asia New Zealand Foun­da­tion.

The trip to In­done­sia will in­clude vis­it­ing the cap­i­tal re­gion of Jakarta to meet with lo­cal ed­u­ca­tors for a two to three day school visit and a two-night home­s­tay with the host teach­ers. It will also in­clude the plan­ning of on­line con­nec­tions and col­lab­o­ra­tion for stu­dents.

Strathdee-Pehi will be one of two North­landers and 12 New Zealand ed­u­ca­tors to un­der­take the trip.

With his fa­ther liv­ing in Thai­land and an in­ter­est in Asian cul­ture well es­tab­lished from trips to Thai­land, Viet­nam, and Cam­bo­dia, Strathdee-Pehi says he has a gen­uine in­ter­est in Asian coun­tries and their cul­ture.

‘‘We will learn about their school cul­ture and sys­tem and share what we do.’’

He has com­pleted vol­un­tary work in Thai­land and Viet­nam, teach­ing English and mu­sic.

Strathdee-Pehi has shared sto­ries from his trav­els to his stu­dents and greets them in dif­fer­ent lan­guages.

‘‘With the con­nec­tions, the stu­dents will have mod­ern-day pen pals.It will go from some­thing we just talk about.

‘‘I like to think I’m open­ing their minds to dif­fer­ent ways of do­ing things.

‘‘I think it’s im­por­tant for New Zealand kids to ex­pe­ri­ence Asian cul­tures.’’

He says he would also like to es­tab­lish a group of in­ter­ested stu­dents within the school to share more knowl­edge and in­for­ma­tion around Asia.

‘‘Maybe around food, lan­guage, and mes­sag­ing other kids. It’s sow­ing the seeds, the trip [to In­done­sia] is a con­tin­u­a­tion of some­thing that’s al­ready on a roll.’’

Strathdee-Pehi says he is also look­ing for­ward to shar­ing as­pects of his cul­ture, iden­ti­fy­ing with his Maori, North­land and New Zealand roots.

The Asia New Zealand Foun­da­tion is a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, set up to ‘‘build New Zealan­ders’ knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing of Asia’’.

Brent Stathdee-Pehi teach­ing in Thai­land.

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