An agreement has been recently signed that lays the foundation for a new way of schools working in partnership with business.
The Manurewa High School Business Academy Foundation has been formed by a group of respected business and education leaders to support the development of authentic business education at secondary school level. The foundation’s trust deed allows for a partnership with the school Board of Trustees and management, to ensure the development of a successful Business Academy at the school.
Stephen Smith, chairman of the Board of Trustees, says the vision is for the school and the foundation to work together in a way that transcends changes of personnel, and ensures sustainability. “It’s an incredible opportunity for our students and community. It embeds partnership, and enables better access to broader pathways for our students.”
Principal Salvatore Gargiulo adds that the agreement provides a blueprint for where schools can move to in the future.
“We can’t expect teachers to be out in the community developing pathways and partnerships, when they need to be in the classroom. Yet we are not meeting the needs of our students if we do not prepare them to sense, value and seize opportunities.”
MHS Business Academy Foundation chair, John Hynds, an alumni of the school, says New Zealand’s future is in the hands of students like those at Manurewa High School. “Teachers have a critical role in developing students’ knowledge and skills. Through the Business Academy, we can help to shape an authentic curriculum that motivates young people to become creative, enterprising and entrepreneurial.
“Manurewa High School students have demonstrated they have a real aptitude for Business. But even those who plan to become artists, doctors, engineers or tradespeople, can benefit from studying business. They gain life skills in financial literacy, organisation, personal discipline, teamwork, and communication.”
The Business Academy brings business to life in a range of ways:
• Student participation in Young Enterprise programmes from Years 11-13.
• Student participation in real-life businesses, with a focus on hospitality, technology and trades.
• Involvement of businesspeople, including alumni, in supporting curriculum delivery and mentoring.
• Introducing connections to enable students to develop business networks.
Business Studies has been growing in popularity as a subject over the past three years, with 160 students across Year 11-13 in 2015 (up from 80 the previous year). Student businesses have performed at the highest level in Young Enterprise, including National Company of the Year and CEO of the Year in 2012. Most students have progressed into a tertiary education pathway to study Business.
Professor Barry Spicer, former Dean of the University of Auckland Business School and a trustee on the new foundation board, describes the academy as a “future of New Zealand school initiative”.
“It offers an opportunity for expansive, scalable, connected, authentic education. It’s will put students on the path to a positive business mindset. It’s will deliver change, one student at a time, and the timing is absolutely right.”
A recent alumni of Manurewa High School, Ryan King, was a member of the Young Enterprise winning group in 2012. He says business is an area where Maori and Pacifica students do not have a strong presence. “However, we do have a ton of potential. To be able to gather all of these students into the Business Academy will help our community to grow, by developing the business leaders of tomorrow.” Ryan has grown as a leader since leaving school and embarking on Commerce studies at the University of Auckland Business School. He is president of the Commerce Association for Pacific and Maori students, and was one of 35 students out of 350 applicants globally to be selected for the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurial Society – a Stanford University initiative.
“Studying business has given me direction in my life, while presenting me with opportunities to help my community. It will be incredible for more students to have these opportunities.”
December 1, 2015