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Indonesian Teachers Celebrate Education Programme



6 December 2012

Indonesian Teachers Celebrate International Education Programme

12 Indonesian science teachers have graduated from a six week professional development programme in Palmerston North this morning, celebrating their experiences living in Palmerston North and teaching in two local high schools.

The 12 Indonesian teachers are all from the Jambi province on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, and have spent the last six weeks teaching students at Awatapu College and Palmerston North Boys High School. The teachers came to New Zealand to develop their teaching skills and improve their English in an effort to improve the education in their home province, Jambi.

The five teachers at Awatapu College taught a mixture of chemistry, biology and physics. Mary Mathews, the Dean of International Students at Awatapu College, says the experience has been very positive for both students and teachers.

Speaking to the graduating Indonesian teachers this morning Jane Horton, the acting principal of Awatapu College, says “it has been an absolute privilege to be a part of this programme and I have no doubt that you will be returning home with a wealth of knowledge about teaching and learning that you’ll be able to pass on in your respective schools in the Jambi province”.

Palmerston North Boys High School hosted seven science teachers throughout the programme. Lance Retemeyer, International Student Manager at Palmerston North Boys High, said “it was fantastic in terms of how they embraced what we had to offer”. Due to the success of the programme Palmerston North Boys High School are looking at returning the opportunity in 2014 when they send one of their own teachers to Jambi to teach and learn about Indonesian education.

Alongside their teaching responsibilities at the local high schools, the group of ‘Jambi Palmy Diamonds’ (as they have nicknamed themselves) participated in a series of development workshops hosted at Massey University and the two school campuses. The three workshops focused on the English language, science teaching, and visionary leadership. During their time in New Zealand the Indonesian teachers visited other schools in the region, including 2

the total immersion Maori school Mana Tamariki, and also travelled to Wellington and Napier to visit other areas of New Zealand.

Speaking at the event this morning, Indonesian teacher Suyadi thanked the organisers for the opportunity to come to New Zealand to develop his professional abilities. He also thanked the Palmerston North community for their hospitality and kindness. He hopes to use everything he has learnt to benefit his community back home.

“We can bring all of the good experience from this place, this school, and the community… we can make better our education in the Jambi province”.

Elaine Reilly, CEO of Vision Manawatu, believes the programme is a really positive initiative for the region and says Vision Manawatu is proud to support these programmes that help grow and enrich the education sector in Palmerston North.

“Effectively the programme is exporting education and that is one of the areas that Vision Manawatu is looking to support because our region is an education centre… Vision Manawatu work with the student city brand and we work with our education providers to make sure we make the most out of our region to provide education excellence”.

Elaine hopes to see more international education programmes like this in Palmerston North in the future.

“International education is a big growth market and we do education particularly well in New Zealand and also particularly well in Palmerston North. International education has a way of enriching the experience of the local students that are here”.

The programme’s organiser, Ipe Mathews, says the programme has been a huge success with the Indonesian teachers gaining confidence and personal growth in their teaching abilities. The schools have also been very positive in their feedback and are keen to participate again in the future. Ipe says there are definitely plans to run the programme again in Palmerston North.

Click for big version.

PHOTO: The 12 Indonesian teachers celebrate their international professional development with programme organisers and supporters.


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