From Busy Mum to Lecturer
Rose Toki, a lecturer in Manukau Institute of Technology’s adult learning programme Te Whanau Ara Mua, knows a thing or two about adult education: she herself was a student on the Manukau Family Literacy Programme (MFLP), COMET's previous family literacy programme.
As a mother of 10 who also cares for her elderly father, Rose is well aware of the pressures associated with adult education and is able to help her students with this.
“To make any changes you need support from your family, husband and kids,” she says. “You need to be open with them about the time you need to study like evenings and weekends.”
Rose received plenty of support from her own children, who encouraged her to go back to school and helped with the housekeeping while she studied. While she admits that time management was a challenge she stuck to the MFLP motto to ‘Never give up’.
Rose was motivated to keep studying “so my brain didn’t go mushy” and she enrolled in an Early Childhood Education degree at Manukau Institute of Technology. Although she found the programme challenging, she enjoyed the learning and meeting new friends. She was popular with her peers who voted her Class Representative. Rose was a very successful mature student which led Dr. Lindy Austin, Head of School (Education) to ask Rose to consider teaching on the Te Whanau Ara Mua adult learning programme, which she embraced with enthusiasm.
From a housewife who had never had a job before, let alone study, Rose is able to set a strong example to her students. “I tell them, I used to be where you are now. I know what it’s like”, she says.
She has also had a positive influence on her family with four of her children now studying at Manukau Institute of Technologyand several of her siblings enrolled in tertiary study.“My husband is very proud and he boasts about me all the time,” says Rose. “I’m encouraging him to take up some qualifications and I tell him 'If I can, you can.'”
Rose is keen to give back to her local community in Otara and plans to undertake postgraduate study in adult numeracy and literacy.