Education takes turn from bad to good
They were seen as bad kids but the students at Tokoroa’s Tautoko Alternative Education Group are proving they can turn their lives around.
The education provider in Campbell St caters for students year nine and up who have been expelled or dropped out of mainstream schools.
To help get them back on track the students are picked up each day from home and taken to the centre where they have a cup of tea and piece of toast before getting into the day’s work.
The small team of dedicated tutors help the students work towards successfully completing their NCEA assessments, much of which is done online.
They also learn about ways to overcome their behavioural issues and with support from Activate Church leaders take part in various after course activities and events.
Student Pania Allen, 15, said before coming to the group she had major issues with anger but now she’s learnt to control it.
‘‘I left school with 16 credits in Year 11. I had a lot of anger and got into lots of fights but now I’ve stopped fighting and I have heaps of credits,’’ she said.
Fellow student Terina Galvinheke, 15, who also had anger issues, said the smaller class size and more one-on-one time with tutors was helping to keep them on the right path.
‘‘I have been here for two and a half years now and you get more one-on-one time with the teacher
‘‘It has given us a second chance to get an education as we didn't really fit in mainstream’’ Pania Allen
which has definitely helped me focus,’’ she said.
Year 10 student Tamati Matthews, 15, said due to the tutors showing a genuine interest in his education and wellbeing he has turned away from drugs.
‘‘I used to be hard out but I now rather come to course than smoke. It has made me want an education,’’ he said.
Pania said they are often judged by people who can’t let go of their past mistakes which she hoped would change.
‘‘People think it is a place for bad kids and that we are all retards because we are not in proper school but it has given us a second chance to get an education as we didn’t really fit in mainstream,’’ she said.
‘‘We learn way better like this and if we don’t understand something we can have proper time with the tutors rather than a quick five minutes.’’
Tutors and students at Tokoroa’s Tautoko Alternative Education Group.