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A Wagga Wagga Yazidi refugee used a TAFE NSW course to kickstart her training as a teacher and putting her in a position to start a career in the growing education sector.
Nationally the number of secondary school teachers is expected to grow by more than 9000 employees between 2020 and 2025, while forecast growth in the number of pre-primary school teachers is also strong at more than 8000 in the same timeframe.
After fleeing conflict in Iraq, Razya Neamat immigrated to Australia in 2019 and after completing a TAFE NSW tertiary preparation course believes she is the first woman from her community to be accepted into university locally. On arrival in Australia, Ms Neamat joined the tight-knit Yazidi refugee community in Wagga Wagga.
While she was forced to leave her home country and some of her family members behind, she brought with her a passion for teaching. Despite the upheaval in her life the determined 26-year-old turned to TAFE NSW to continue her education with the aim of becoming a teacher.
In 2021 she enrolled in the Certificate IV Tertiary Preparation Certificate (TPC) at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga, a course she used as a steppingstone toward entry into university.
The TPC is a nationally accredited qualification offering a Tertiary Entrance Score, an ATAR equivalent, recognised by educators and employers as an alternative pathway to further study. A post school qualification significantly improves earning ability, and the TAFE NSW HSC equivalent Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation has proved the key to unlocking a brighter future for many.
“The TAFE course improved my writing skills, gave me an understanding of referencing and improved my computer skills. My teachers also gave me experience in how to study and write for university,” she said.
After graduating from the TPC in 2021, Ms Neamat was accepted into university to study a Bachelor of Education. She believes she is the first woman from her community to go to university in Australia.
“I want to share my story because there are too many Yazidi people who don’t continue their education because they are afraid they won’t be accepted. These people end up working in jobs they don’t like.
“I want them to see they should trust themselves to further their education. I want them to see how TAFE NSW helped me develop skills I can use to further my education and get a job as a teacher. If I can do it, they can do it,” she said.
Ms Neamat was setting an example in her community in what TAFE NSW Team Leader of Career Pathways Debrah Crowden described as the perfect use of a course designed for people who want to finish their high school studies, gain entry to a career of choice, or secure a better ATAR equivalent to study for a degree. “This course is also useful for people seeking a career change, particularly those wanting to move from a vocational job into a profession. The course builds confidence and technological skills that have been identified as essential for emerging careers. TAFE NSW provides a variety of study options on campus, online, on the job and at school.
“It’s a one-year course that sets graduates up with a great education foundation for the rest of their lives,” Ms Crowden said.
For more information on courses available at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.