Hailing from the Cook Islands, Ngara Katuke has completed SIT’s National Certificate in Adult Education and Training (Level 5) through SIT2LRN distance learning. Working for the Ministry of Education managing the finances for the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute, Ngara took the opportunity to try something different and upskill.
Learning about SIT’s distance learning through her work colleagues who were completing their own qualifications, Ngara found the programme immensely helpful, especially the essay writing section as it is a challenging area when English is not your first, but rather your fifth language! Networking with her colleagues and other students was also something she found helped with her study and she enjoyed the cultural understanding aspect as it has assisted her with applying the model to her own work place and community involvement.
“The course has provided me the opportunity to gain more understanding and to use it in my non-governmental organisation arena to support and provide skills to share with our people in the community, church, village and members in my organisations. It has changed the way I think and I understand how to make a better change in our life.”
Ngara only had access to the internet in her place of work as it was too expensive to have a home connection. Her heavy involvement in community work outside her job also meant that being organised enough to get course work and assignments in on time was a challenge. Despite this, she has completed the qualification and proudly walked across the stage to collect her Certificate at the graduation ceremony, having travelled across from the Cook Islands to mark the occasion.
She stresses that the assistance from her tutors was phenomenal, with a couple in particular going out of their way to assist and push her to deliver her best work.
Her hope is that in future, SIT staff could visit the Cook Islands to talk to students and encourage more Cook Island people to study through SIT.