Sett­ting ex­am­ple key to stu­dent suc­cess

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Don’t go telling Toko­roa teacher Shri Kr­ishna Menon that high school is just for stu­dents.

The new head of the tech­nol­ogy depart­ment at For­est View High School wants the whole com­mu­nity to start en­gag­ing more in what stu­dents are do­ing as a way of gen­er­at­ing higher achieve­ment, en­gage­ment, and mo­ti­va­tion.

‘‘I think par­ents need to have a good re­la­tion­ship with schools and they need to come out and show us that they are just as in­ter­ested as we are in their kids be­cause it is some­thing that is re­ally fad­ing away these days,’’ he said. ‘‘Most of the time par­ents are think­ing they’ll send their kids to school and there you go, they are your prob­lem now, but it should not be like that.

‘‘It is a so­ci­ety thing and we all need to work to­gether on this to get the best out­comes.’’

Menon, who is orig­i­nally from Fiji, said he came to For­est View High School from Auck­land be­cause he said there were so many op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to al­low his vi­sion to be re­alised.

‘‘My plans are to en­gage more in com­mu­nity projects and we want to start look­ing at evening pro­grammes for par­ents who may want to come in to learn a par­tic­u­lar skill.

‘‘We have a very well equipped au­to­mo­tive work­shop here which I be­lieve is one of a kind and an in­dus­trial kitchen so if there are peo­ple out there who are lack­ing a lit­tle bit of knowl­edge in a par­tic­u­lar field we can of­fer those evening pro­grammes and en­gage the com­mu­nity which will be huge.

‘‘We have the peo­ple who are qual­i­fied here to do this and change has to start some­where.’’

He said en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents to fo­cus more on trade skills was also a ma­jor area he wants to work on in light of New Zealand’s short­age.

‘‘Start­ing in the mid­dle of the year means things are al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult but I am al­ready plan­ning for next year,’’ he said.

That in­cludes of­fer­ing build­ing and con­struc­tion up to level three which will be a na­tional cer­tifi­cate, au­to­mo­tive for year 9 stu­dents, and part­ner­ing with lo­cal busi­nesses so stu­dents get first­hand in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘Stu­dents these days are not re­ally get­ting the path­way con­cept and hence when they come to school they don’t have a good rea­son to be here.

‘‘By part­ner­ing with em­ploy­ment providers stu­dents will get the op­por­tu­nity to go out at an early age and say hey this is what the in­dus­try looks like.

‘‘The scope here is re­ally tremen­dous.’’

PHOTO: LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIRFAX NZ

Shri Kr­ishna Menon is the new head of tech­nol­ogy at For­est View High School in Toko­roa.

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