Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ulimasao Launch

Thursday 29th October 2015  from was the community launching of Ulimasao  Bilingual Education Association Inc. at Robertson Road School in Mangere. This ceremony was the beginning of Chapter Two of Ulimasao Bilingual Association Journey. Its journey began in June 1995 as part of Patisepa Tuafuti’s role as a Pasifika Education Advisor. It was then launched and/or blessed under the Education Advisory Services as a Samoan Language and Bilingual Teachers Network from ECE, primary, secondary and tertiary. The network was named Ulimasao Bilingual Education Association in 1998.  

The Ulimasao Bilingual Education Association re-launching event marked the significance of making close links and building relationships between Pasifika teachers from all sectors ECE, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary with parents and community to build, enhance, and share knowledge, understanding and expertise on Bilingual Education.
Our master of ceremony was Toleafoa Matailiili Tuimauga.

The evening began with a prayer led by Faapaia Wilson

Patisepa Tuafuti then shared the history of Ulimasao and explained that we cannot move forward without knowing our past ( ie from 1995…...2005).  Highlights of three past conferences were shared.

We all had a couple of minutes of silence in remembrance of our colleague Faimai Tuimauga who passed away on the 21st February 2015.    

Next John McCaffery spoke about the research that shows the importance of first language and literacy  maintenance and shared some of the current data that indicates falling levels of  Samoan anguage use in our A’oga Amata and the likely negative effect of this on ECE learning. He reiterated that  it is biliteracy that drives academic success and the importance of gaining cognitive proficiency in both languages for academic success. As bilingual educators we  need to upgrade our knowledge about biliteracy and be more active about extending  biliteracy out into the  parent and wider community.

An activity and/or task was given out for teachers and parents to discuss and record issues in relation to their A’oga Amata, bilingual units programmes etc.  Issues and questions were shared before sheets of papers were collected for Ulimasao’s committee to collate and analyse in preparation of  their 2016/2017 strategic plan.

Finally the session ended with a Tongan hymn and prayer led by the Tongan Bilingual Unit Teachers from Finlayson Park School Manurewa.

Overall the evening was successful because we  sought to inform  and involve the community about the  relaunch of Ulimasao

Here are Patisepa Tuafuti's Slides from the evening.

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