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CEDA AND PNCC sponsor school learners in Manawatu

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) and the Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) have teamed up with Education New Zealand (ENZ) to offer 25 ManawatÅ« secondary school learners’ scholarships to increase their global competency.

These scholarships were made available in October to fund Year 10 learners to undertake a customised version of AFS Global Competence Certificate (GCC). This is a blended learning programme that develops tangible global skills essential to live, work, and make a real social impact around the world. AFS is partnering with Massey University to facilitate the programme on a virtual platform.

"The programme provides a great way to keep ManawatÅ« at the front of international school learners’ minds as a future study destination and builds the capabilities of the learners involved in global competencies, a skill set desired by employers both locally and internationally," says Sara Towers, Talent and Skills Manager at CEDA.

"While we cannot travel or take in new international students right now, we are finding innovative ways to keep connected with our counterparts overseas, showcasing the wonderful study opportunities our region has to offer," Towers explains.

Learners from both countries will join weekly virtual workshops facilitated by Massey University - in the last four weeks of New Zealand’s school year - focused on developing the learners’ lifelong global power skills and providing them with an opportunity to interact and connect directly with their overseas counterparts.

The purpose of the activity is to boost awareness of Manawatū schools in Viet Nam while international travel is not possible and to provide local learners with a chance to connect with Vietnamese learners and learn about the Viet Nam culture.

"Palmerston North City has a longstanding relationship with Ho Chi Minh, and education opportunities like this help us to further strengthen these ties. This joint initiative is a great example of how we can maintain Palmerston North’s valuable international relations during COVID-19. It will support our city, and our young people, to be positioned for global opportunities when the border opens up again," says Toni Grace, International Relations Manager at PNCC.

"Enhancing our learners’ global competency should not be underestimated in our increasingly globalised world of work. It is heartening to see AFS programmes utilising digital platforms to enable students to grow their passion for international relations," says Grace who knows first-hand the importance of experiencing other cultures from a young age, having completed an AFS school exchange programme herself.

The programme will be delivered in schools from the 2nd of November and will end with a formal graduation ceremony attended by Palmerston North City Mayor Grant Smith in the second week of December.

For more information on the AFS Global Competency Certificate Programme visit:

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