Support during COVID-19 has been key for Rochelle Mataia (Ngāti Tamaoho) during her studies toward the Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) – He Korowai Ākonga degree with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
Rochelle is completing her three-year programme in Tāmaki and says during extended periods of lockdown, she never felt alone or unsure of what was requried.
“We were offered support outside the wānanga and kaiako had taken the time to step out of the classroom environment. There is genuine care and sincerity behind their actions,” she says.
Rochelle also enjoyed seeing first-hand the vision of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa come to life.
“Whānau Transformation Through Education has been the biggest highlight of studying here. Not only was I on this journey, but so was my whānau, and the whānau of all my peers and kaiako. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa understands the importance of whānau to tauira, allowing tauira to bring their tamariki in when needed, but also taking the time to spend with each of us to ensure our mauri was tau. We learnt so many gems that are valued for our kete through wānanga, kai tahi and noho.”
She says studying with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa reminded her of the importance of whakapapa and tūrangawaewae.
“Don’t let go of who you are and why you are here today.”
Rochelle was one of our online graduation speakers this year. You can watch her speech in the video above and find information about our graduations on our graduations page.