Welcome to Part 6 of our series, “Humans of Macleans”. Catch up on previous interviews here and immerse yourself in the inspiring tales of our school community.

Today we interview Mrs Ladkoo, an exceptional Commerce teacher in Mansfield House. Mrs Ladkoo has broad expertise, teaching Year 9 Financial Literacy, Year 11 Macleans Certificate Commerce, AS Economics, as well as Level 3 Economics.

She was asked the following questions with the following responses.

Q: What made you choose Economics as a subject at university?

I did not choose Economics, Economics chose me! I literally did not have a career path in mind once I graduated from Secondary School. My parents took me on a tour of the University and it was a Commerce lecturer that encouraged me to study Commerce!

Q: Where did you grow up?

I grew up in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. I married someone from Mauritius - a tiny island quoted by Mark Twain as: “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius.” I wanted to live in Mauritius before being incentivised to move to New Zealand. 

Q: What was your school life and early adulthood like?

My school life occurred in South Africa pre-1994 during the Apartheid era.  Schools were segregated on the basis of ethnicity. There were four different NZQA-style Examination Boards for each of the four designated ethnicities. Being of colour, I was not allowed to attend other schools, and neither was I allowed to compete in national or international academic or sporting competitions/events. It’s a far cry from the diversity I experience and applaud at Macleans College. 
 
Minority ethnicities were not allowed to attend certain universities pre-1994 in South Africa. So we built our own University founded with donations from the community.  That was how I was able to attend University. 

Q: What are your past achievements? 

I have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce with Three Majors: Economics, Accounting, and Business Economics, an  Honours Degree in Economics, and a Master’s Degree in Economics. Thereafter I completed a National Certificate in Adult Education and a Diploma in Secondary Teaching. 

Q:  If you had a genie grant you three wishes for Macleans College, what would they be?

A bigger gym for assemblies, a solution to wet-day assemblies, and more classrooms- especially a designated exam centre.

Q: What has been your greatest accolade?

In addition to all my students achieving to their best ability -  being nominated this year as the only teacher from New Zealand to go to Stanford University to receive an award as a  “most valued teacher” by Yang Fan Yun, a top graduate of Stanford University.

Q: What do you try to practice in life?

The word HINDU stands for Honesty, Integrity, Nobility, Divinity, and Unity. I try to live by this, but mistakes are part of life and it's how I correct them that will define me as a person. My dad said that there are only two things in life that no one can ever take away from you: “your faith and your education” -  so these are very important to me. 

Written by Mrs. Ladkoo, edited by Shafquat Tabeeb
Photography by Joseph Zhang

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