Malaysian student inspired to challenge herself with support from NZTC

Malaysian student inspired to challenge herself with support from NZTC

Bernice Lau with her student

Malaysian student Bernice Lau was initially apprehensive about pursuing a career in early childhood.

“I didn’t know anyone working in the sector and I was afraid I might not be capable enough, despite having a passion for interacting with young children. However, after finding casual work in an ECE centre, I realised this was certainly the career for me! I loved the inspiring and supportive environment which gave me the strength and courage to thrive.

“I soon learnt studying would open up greater opportunities, and with Covid-19 border closures I started looking for a tertiary provider that would allow me to study in Malaysia, yet still gain a high-quality and internationally recognised qualification.”

Drawn to New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC)’s flexible workplace learning and unmatched student support, Bernice is now partway through the New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 6).

“I am so grateful for the support provided by college staff. Their guidance has allowed me to challenge myself and has made distance learning so much easier. The lecturers are always there to reach out to when I have trouble understanding something, and I love that there is no added pressure as I can study in my own time around work.

“Furthermore, NZTC’s bachelor degrees which I hope to pathway into are recognised by the Malaysian Ministry of Education. Although I would like to gain some teaching experience in New Zealand one day, this creates more opportunities for me if I decide to pursue an ECE career in my home country. Opening my own centre in Malaysia is definitely a goal.”

Learning about New Zealand’s ECE curriculum is supporting Bernice to strengthen her own teaching practice.

“I have the opportunity to learn how ECE centres in another country operate. I have been able to try out activities and practices I have studied in my courses and execute them in my own centre.

“For example, when I first started teaching I didn’t know that relationships between teachers and a child’s family play such a tremendous role in aiding children’s development. I now understand that positive collaboration with family members creates a more comfortable and supportive learning environment.”