with the percentage enrolling in Vakameasina from these countries.
Vakameasina delivery has occurred in the main regions where RSE workers are employed, with some delivery occurring in other regions where there is the demand and where the logistics allow. Figure 4 provides detail of the location of the Vakameasina training to date.
A key to the success of the delivery is that teaching has not been constrained by a curriculum. Teaching has focused on what the trainees want to learn about. The English language, numeracy, digital literacy, financial literacy, and life skills have been embedded into the learning. The range of topics covered has been vast.Workers have requested topics including budgeting, computer skills, music, sewing, cooking, small business management, leadership, solar energy, chainsaw maintenance, sexual health and positive parenting. Following Cyclone Pam (2015) and Cyclone Winston (2016) there was an increase in requests for lessons on building more resilient homes. This information is sought during enrolment where trainees are asked to think about what would make their lives better while they are in New Zealand and also back home. Based on their answers, the tutor develops a group learning plan for the 20 hours of contact time with the RSE workers.
The feedback from the participants and their employers has been extremely positive. Employers comment that the RSE workers are more confident to speak English in the workplace. One employer spoke about how proud she felt when the RSE workers addressed in an assertive manner an issue where they thought they had been underpaid. The workers were correct and the employer was able to resolve the issue with no ill-feeling. Recruitment agents in the Pacific Islands have commented about the problem-solving skills learnt in a Vakameasina leadership programme and used by one group leader back home, who previously would have used his fist to deal with these issues. A researcher from Australia has witnessed a spouse of a RSE worker showing family members the Vakameasina website to teach computing skills back in a remote village in Vanuatu.
Government funding has been secured for a further five years of delivery. It is targeted that a further 6,000 learners will access Vakameasina during those five years. The major changes to the programme include the incorporation of an electronic learning platform, learning pathways and development plans, helping trainees to gain formal qualifications, focused through subject modular based training and various training pilots.
A feature of the new contract is that there is an electronic learning
platform (ELP) that learners enrolled in Vakameasina, and others, can access to extend their learning when they are not in class. It is anticipated that this ELP will relate to material taught during the Vakameasina classes. Links to other websites of relevance will also be provided.
It is proposed that the ELP will allow for workers to gain access to some of the learning without the formal assistance of a Vakameasina tutor in regions where no programmes can be run or back home in the Islands when the workers return home.
The electronic learning platform will be able to record the progress of individual students so that over time, the improvements in English and Maths can be tracked, as can the modules that the student has completed from the Vakameasina programme. in New Zealand. The Primary Industry Training Organisation (Primary ITO) is currently funded to facilitate RSE workers to gain the New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Skills (Level 2) through the industry training fund upon request from the ITO. Our tutors will work with those enrolled in this certificate to assist them with the literacy and numeracy demands of the qualification.
The content of the training will be more formalised so that as participants progress through Vakameasina they can gain recognition for completing various modules. These modules will be staged as follows:
Foundation Course – covering much of the material provided to first time participants in Vakameasina with the potential to add some elective topics.
Elective Courses – a range of courses going into more detail on the elective topic chosen by the group. As happens currently, specialist tutors will be brought in to assist with the more technical/ practical aspects of this delivery.
Pilot Programmes – an addition to the current programmes it is intended that specific courses will be delivered either as the workers arrive in New Zealand or just prior to departure. These courses will focus on specific skill areas such as working towards a New Zealand driver’s license, and youth or female leadership programmes.
Train the Trainers – there is a desire to extend the reach of Vakameasina. With this in mind, it is aimed to share some teaching skills with the Vakameasina participants so that they can share the knowledge and skills they gain from the classes. This may occur in their accommodation facilities or on their return to their home country.
It is proposed that Vakameasina will be delivered in Canterbury.