Name: Mani Singh
NZTC Qualification: Master of Early Childhood Education
It was early on in life that New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) student Mani Singh realised the difference that a teacher can make in the lives of students.
As a 13 year old, she struggled with maths until a new teacher, who applied a different teaching method and played to her strengths and weaknesses, changed Mani’s attitude towards numbers. So much so that, as an adult, she went on to study a degree in statistics and volunteered as a maths tutor, instilling a love of math in others as she travelled with her husband around India.
In 2009 she got the opportunity to manage a nursery school. Mani said, “This was the first time that something came into me and I started dreaming about doing further study, something related to early childhood education, so I could make a change in the lives of young children, their families, teachers, and my community. I had found my purpose in life.”
A shortage of maths teachers enabled Mani to work as a primary school teacher for the next few years, however, the desire to pursue a career in ECE lingered.
An online search of early childhood teacher education providers led her to discover NZTC, who ticked all the boxes of what she was looking for. She had always wanted to visit New Zealand and, with the support of her family, decided to make the country her study destination.
“When I read about the college’s values of Vision, Heart, Competence and Spirit, I knew that I would be in good hands studying with NZTC. And with more than 35 years of experience providing qualifications, it was clear that the college was a global leader in ECE,” said Mani.
So, 17 years after completing her bachelor’s degree, Mani enrolled to study the college’s Master of Early Childhood Education.
“Studying with NZTC has been beyond my expectations. At first I was nervous about pursuing a way of study that I wasn’t used to, but everyone at the college has been very supportive – from Pastoral Support, to IT Help, to my lecturers. I receive help and guidance whenever I need assistance.”
Upon completing her studies, Mani hopes to be able to empower other early childhood teachers by providing a centre environment in which they will thrive as educators.
She would also like to influence the way that young children learn in India, applying the learnings from her master’s and New Zealand’s Te Whāriki to incorporate play as an education tool.
“I want to give back to my country by laying a good foundation for young children through curriculum and creating a balance between play and education, so children can have fun while they learn.”