Graduate dedicated to Pasifika learning wins Values Award

Graduate dedicated to Pasifika learning wins Values Award

NZTC Values Award winner_Francis Silia Loto Nafo’i, a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) graduate
Francis Silia Loto Nafo’i (left)

For Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) graduate, Francis Silia Loto Nafo’i, winning NZTC’s Values Award with her loved ones in the audience was surreal. 

“Receiving this was such a special moment for my aiga and I. It was unexpected because the journey wasn’t easy or perfect, but I knew in my heart I gave every assignment, discussion forum and practicum my best. 

“Winning this was incredibly inspiring for my family, especially being a daughter of the migrant dream.”

The Samoan graduate says her memories from graduation will hold a special place in her heart. 

“My aiga are my inspirations in life, so by walking the stage I was able to honour them and all the sacrifices they’ve made for me to be here and live in this moment.” 

NZTC Values Award winner_Francis Silia Loto Nafo’i, a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) graduate
Dr. Sean Dolan (left) and
Francis Silia Loto Nafo’i (right)

Nominated by one of her lecturers, Maddie Hendrie, Loto Nafo’i was chosen for NZTC’s value of Competence in relation to her work in supporting the learning of Pasifika children. 

“I was impressed with how willing and able she was to make connections to and support her own culture and other Pasifika cultures. She was great at supporting the knowledge sharing of Pasifika ideas and learning, making excellent links to the competencies in Tapasā,” shared Hendrie. 

Loto Nafo’i’s journey into early childhood education was deeply rooted in her family and cultural background. 

Inspired by the love and care shown to her by her immediate and extended family, along with her church community, she felt the call to nurture the next generation.  

She chose to study with NZTC because of the flexible workplace learning, allowing her to study while working full time to support her family. 

“I loved studying via NZTC Online because it taught me the importance of managing my time wisely. I felt supported throughout my whole degree as I knew the team were an email or call away if I needed help. 

“Through my NZTC studies, I’ve learnt that with God, hard work, determination and perseverance – anything is possible.” 

A current under two’s teacher, she is excited to become a fully registered kaiako, and continue building relationships with those in her community. 

“There are so many rewarding aspects of working in ECE, but a standout for me is the crucial relationships you get to form with tamariki, their whānau and of course other kaiako.” 

She offers her gratitude and appreciation to those who supported her along the way, as well as some encouragement for people thinking of pursuing tertiary studies. 

“I would encourage anyone who is considering studying to take that leap of faith and believe in yourself.”