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Quality education can change lives

Business School Director says quality education can change lives

19 July 2005

Keith Ikin, director of Te Wananga o Aotearoa’s School of Sustainable Business Management is pleased with a recent announcement by Education Minister Trevor Mallard that signals an end to low quality education in New Zealand.

The business school director points out that with an emphasis on quality, everyone wins: “Our school is motivated by the desire for quality educational outcomes for our students. We know that quality education has the power to change a person’s life,” says Ikin.

Andrea Goldstone, a tutor with the school’s highly successful Certificate in Small Business Management agrees. “I have taught the Certificate since it began, and I have taught hundreds of students of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and learning levels.”

“What brings them together is a desire to learn, grow and succeed. These are the people that keep me going and striving to better myself as a tutor. I need to be able to encourage all of my students and let them know that they can reach their goals.”

Goldstone recalls one of her students vividly: “There was a woman in my class who was incarcerated while she was enrolled on the programme. Her partner at the time had been involved in drugs and so she found herself in trouble.”

“When she was sentenced I went to see her, and was told by the police that she had tried to take her own life. I sat down with her and let her know that she could let this defeat her or she could take control of her life and think about the future.”

Andrea Goldstone told her student that she could complete the Certificate in Small Business Management while she was in prison. The student accepted the challenge, and successfully completed all of her assignments while serving time in jail.

“When it came time for graduation” says Goldstone, “my student was unable to attend the ceremony and get her certificate. We got together as a class in her absence and gave her a big standing ovation.”

“Eventually” says Goldstone, “she was paroled and went down to the South Island to start up a successful small business. She is still a successful businessperson now, a result both of her own effort and the commitment and quality behind the Certificate in Small Business Management.”

Business school director Keith Ikin says that this is just one example of a student overcoming obstacles in order to receive the benefit of education. “The School of Sustainable Business Management recognises that many students face barriers to education,” says Ikin. “Where we have succeeded is to take barriers to education into account.”

“No matter what challenges our students face – literacy skills, numeracy skills or basic learning skills – our programmes are designed to help students succeed and staircase into higher level learning,” says Ikin.

“Our school has a tremendous record of meeting quality targets,” says Ikin. “In the Certificate in Small Business alone, a quality audit by the NZQA found 100% compliance. It is a record that speaks for itself.”


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