Taking their skills to the world
This trio of talented students won prestigious scholarships to provide physical education to children in India.
Darcy Buchanan; Martine Matipo-Kolisko; Leonie Palmer
It’s definitely a chance to challenge myself. I hope I can pass on some of my knowledge around athletics to the school pupils
Three Otago Polytechnic students will soon spend four weeks in India, where they will teach primary school children a range of physical activity and sports-related activities.
Third-year Bachelor of Applied Science students Darcy Buchanan and Martine Matipo-Kolisko, and first-year student Leonie Palmer are among 172 young New Zealanders awarded prestigious Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) as part of the 2018/19 round.
Their experience will involve a work placement at Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School, which has a roll of 7000 pupils. They will teach the children fundamental movement skills using a “Games Sense” approach to promote learning.
Game Sense involves the use of modified games to teach and practise sports-specific skills. The approach differs from physical education classes in India, which are teacher-directed and drill based.
Leonie is looking forward to her first overseas experience.
“It’s definitely a chance to challenge myself. I hope I can pass on some of my knowledge around athletics to the school pupils.”
Third-year students Darcy and Martine are also relishing the opportunity and regard their India adventure as a chance to teach as well as learn.
“I’m really excited,” Darcy says. “I went to China as part of my studies earlier this year and really enjoyed it. It gave me a taste of a completely different culture. There will be challenges, but we’ll give it 100%.”
“It’s a chance to also teach these kids a bit about where we come from – as well as pass on some skills, obviously," says Martine. "I think it’s also important to recognise that we can learn a lot from these kids, too.”
The students' lecturer, Kim Park, notes the importance of work placements in context -- and the employment advantages they bring learners.
"Within these placements they get to demonstrate and improve their capabilities such communication, teamwork, leadership, organisation and initiative. All these are transferable skills that employers want in graduates," she says.
And, in an increasingly global workplace, having developed and applied these skills in an international context can give learners an extra edge.