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.