The three day Early Childhood Education Fono in Samoa, held over the term break, was a huge success.
The group that represented Whanau Manaaki Kindergartens were: Elisapeta Faavale (Fanau Pasifika Kindergarten), Epifania Higgs (Itinerate Reliever), Susana Lepaio (Etu Ao Playgroup Coordinator), Toleafoa Pisinisi Masina (Nuanua Kindergarten), Faigatala Samoa (Toru Fetu Kindergarten), Saumaleula Tusani (Tairangi Kindergarten), Louana Fruean (Kaitiaki o Kaupapa Maori) and the Leadership Team - Ina Ropu-Tengaru (Senior Head Teacher of Nuanua Kindergarten), Moamoa Faleafaga (Community Navigator) and Caroline Mareko (Senior Manager: Community & Participation).
The team want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the group to manage and deliver a Whanau Manaaki conference in Samoa. They appreciated the support for their fundraisers and the encouragement to all of them which contributed to the success of the Anofale o le Faiaoga – The Intentional Teacher Fono.
The following article and picture was in the Samoan Observer:
DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS: Teachers from ‘He Whanau Mana’aki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association from Wellington, New Zealand are linking up with Early Childhood teachers in Samoa.
Nine teachers from the He Whanau Mana’aki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association from Wellington, New Zealand are in the country for a special purpose.
They are leading a three-day programme on Early Childhood Education at the E.F.K.S. hall, Sogi.
The focus is on developing an international relationship with the Samoa Early Childhood Education (E.C.E.) sector for the benefit of making connections in the teaching and learning of Samoan children in both Samoa and New Zealand.
Their key drivers are to strive to maintain high quality early childhood education, increase and sustain participation and have an integrated approach within some services.
“We want the opportunity to connect with our early childhood education teachers in Samoa to share in our work that is important in early childhood development, said the representative of the leadership’s team from Wellington New Zealand, Lealamanu’a Aiga Caroline Mareko.
“We are the only Kindergarten Association in New Zealand that has four Pasifika E.C.E. services. Nuanua Kindergarten nurtures the Samoa and Tokelauan Languages and culture, Toru Fetu Kindegarten is the first purpose built Pasifika kindergarten in the country and it nurtures Cook Island Maori, Tuvalu and Niue languages and culture in the country. Fanau Pasifika was a mainstream kindergarten that we changed to be a Pasifika service in Levin, nurturing Samoan and Tongan languages and cultures. The 4th Pasifika service is the Etu Ao Homebase programme operating in Porirua which began five years ago".
"The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development into adulthood", said Lealamanu’a.
According to the organisation’s guidelines, understanding the need to invest in very young children is important, so as to maximise their future wellbeing.
The He Whanau Mana’aki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association is a non-profit organisation and it was formed in 2014 as the result of a merger of the Rimutaka Kindergarten Association and Wellington Kindergarten Association. They provide administrative, management, and property management support to 85 kindergartens and educational leadership and professional development for up to 700 teaching staff and home -based educators. The organisation also coordinates local committees and provides training and support to parents.
Prior to the three-day programme the group also visited early childhood services and met with relevant organisations and people who are working with Aoga Amata teachers and services.
Caroline wanted to thank all those who supported the team
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