Education head quits

Tuesday November 14, 2017 Written by Published in Education
Outgoing Ministry of Education secretary Gail Townsend Outgoing Ministry of Education secretary Gail Townsend

The Cook Islands Public Service has confirmed the resignation of Ministry of Education secretary Gail Townsend.


Townsend, who was appointed to the top job in 2015, is expected to leave the ministry on December 1.

She will take up a regional post at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) office in Samoa.

Townsend joined the Ministry of Education in 2003 and initially held the position of science advisor before rising through the ranks to senior positions of director of policy and planning and executive director.

She brought with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in education, including a master’s degree in International Educational Policy and Planning, and a Master’s degree in Science.

Last week the Cook Islands Public Service advertised Townsend’s role alongside the secretary positions for the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Health secretary Elizabeth Iro also resigned recently after she was appointed as the chief nursing officer at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

And earlier this year Paul Allsworth was appointed the acting Ministry of Internal Affairs secretary after former secretary Bredina Drollett accepted the position of acting chief of staff at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas said he was hoping to fill the positions before the Christmas break.

He said each position carried a three-year term, with an opportunity to continue for another term pending good performance.

In the advertisement, the Cook Islands Public Service said it was on a journey to excellence to achieve the national vision, “to enjoy the highest quality of life consistent with the aspirations of our people, and in harmony with our culture and environment”.

The job description said the secretary was accountable for ensuring public service excellence through the effective and efficient delivery of the ministry’s functions and government policies.

The deadline for applications is 4pm, on December 1. Late applications will not be considered, the Public Service Commission says.      

1 comment

  • Comment Link David Lewis Tuesday, 14 November 2017 17:01 posted by David Lewis

    Are the Cook Islands people and their children not good enough for them? Like many a Cook Islands citizen, I have spent 30 years abroad working my guts out abroad for the Maori members of my family and sending every damned cent to them so that they can survive IN their ipukarea? That was the system I was taught in Mangaia and it is the only way the Cook Islands can survive. That is what the people signed up for in 1965. That is what Jim Marurai gave his degree for. I am disgusted with them. Anyone can join up with an international organisation and make their name. It's easy. I have done it for 30 years because I have no country except the Cook Islands and my family have no other source of decent money. I don't wish to read your front page devoted to those who have used it and left to look after themselves. Try devoting it it for a change to my disabled Aitutakian granddaughter whom I am looking after here or her qualified Atiuan father who is trying to make ends meet in Rarotonga or my son who was raised in Oneroa, was top of CISC and a scholarship student, married a Manihikian and returned or my grandchildren at school in Tereora or working for a Ministry.


    Riri tikai.

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