Fathima Shahareen Fahim
Name: Fathima Shahareen Fahim
NZTC Qualification: Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education)
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I completed my Bachelor of Education (ECE) in January 2016 while continuing to teach full-time at a primary school. Being a mature student while managing many roles and being new to the online mode of learning, I began my learning journey with New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) with mixed emotions. Nevertheless, I have always believed in success through hard work, dedication and organisation. I am really proud of the results I received and feel a sense of triumph as I realise that age is no barrier to learning. This achievement has motivated me to continue my journey of learning and I aspire to study towards a Master of ECE with NZTC next year.
What inspired you to pursue your early childhood education studies with NZTC?
I was on the lookout for an internationally recognised degree program in Sri Lanka for quite a while. My sister is a graduate from NZTC and told me about the College. Later, browsing the web, I found out about NZTC India and the online mode of learning it offered. It was a dream come true when I realised that NZTC catered to Sri Lankan students through NZTC Online. I was determined to pursue the degree of education so I could receive an internationally recognised degree in ECE while continuing my teaching career in Sri Lanka.
How did NZTC and the India office support you during your studies?
The staff of NZTC and the India office were very friendly and supportive right from the beginning until the end of my studies with them. The availability of the online study guide, research journals, video lectures, discussion forums, IT help, reflective tasks, support given by lecturers and constructive feedback given by markers helped me tremendously in enhancing my knowledge and skills.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during your studies?
My biggest challenge was having limited time set aside for my studies. As I was working full-time at a school and managing different roles such as being a wife, mother and tutor I had to organise and manage my time wisely. Many times I had to refrain myself from procrastinating in order to make the best use of my time.
How did you find studying online?
I found studying online enjoyable and flexible as I was able to balance my responsibilities and study at my own pace and at the time that was most convenient to me. At the beginning it was a challenge, as online learning was new to me and took me some time to get accustomed to, but with the support and guidance by the staff and colleagues, I was able to master the skills and become proficient at it by the end of my first year. Studying online enabled me to continue my teaching career as a full-time teacher. This gave me a better understanding of the contents of the course and I was able to apply the knowledge/skills that I gained from my teaching to answer the assessment questions.
Which courses did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed all the courses as I found them very interesting. But I really enjoyed learning about multiculturalism, inclusive practice and my research proposal topic - Second language learning and teaching as it linked directly to the classroom environment I teach.
How has the NZTC qualification assisted you in your current role?
It has given me an internationally recognised qualification and it has helped me immensely in my current role as a teacher in understanding and supporting children and families of different cultures and backgrounds.