Critic’s Requisite Students-Are-Not-All-Drunken-IdIots Story
In a blatant attempt to flesh out their CVs, two Otago students have set up a free tutoring service for students in mid-to low-decile Dunedin high schools.
Under the arrangement Otago students tutor for one hour per week in NCEA subjects they studied at high school or university. Organisers (and FYI, Critic contributors) Alice McRae and Georgina Klein set up the scheme in February, with tutoring taking place at Queen’s High School in South Dunedin last semester.
Denying that the move was simply to impress future employers and med school entry boards, McRae told Critic, “We were both really interested in getting more involved in volunteer work, and decided we wanted to set something up in Dunedin that was easy for people to get involved with.” They found that other volunteer groups often required training or payment from volunteers, “so we decided to set up something ourselves. High school tutoring seemed like an obvious choice, since the people we would be getting involved are studying at a higher level and have done NCEA before.”
35 high school students have so far signed up for the programme. Tutoring ranges from one-on-one attention to study groups of five, depending on the needs of students. Tutors are put in contact with teachers of the subject they are tutoring to get an idea of their students’ abilities and what they have been focusing on in class.
Queen’s High School Assistant Principal Barbara Agnew said the tutoring was “very successful. The kids have thoroughly enjoyed it and are hoping it continues.”
The organisers have also meet with Otago University Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne, who has expressed support for the scheme and has suggested official University recognition of the students’ efforts.
For those lacking community involvement in their lives, 28 tutors are needed for Semester Two. Those wishing to be involved can email email@example.com with the days they are available to tutor and the subjects they are interested in tutoring.