Araura and Niua back to school

Monday February 04, 2019 Written by Published in Education

The beginning of school in Aitutaki had Araura College’s total roll number sitting at 214 students last week.


Of these, 37 are Year 7 students. Last year the school had 50 listed Year 7 pupils with a total roll of 216, however it is still early days yet, as some families are still overseas.

Currently Araura has 14 staff and are still awaiting the arrival of two teachers. The mathematics teacher is scheduled to arrive for term two, while the science teaching position is yet to be filled.

Principal of the college, Gaylyn Lockington says, it would be great to start with the staffing situation sorted, however they are doing the best they can in the meantime.

Lockington is asking in order for the school year to be a successful one for all students, “we desperately need the support of parents and the community”.

 She humbly asks parents and guardians to help by “ensuring your child comes to school every day, fed and rested, so learning can be maximised while the children are in school”.

“Make learning a priority in ensuring our children have set times to do homework, even if it’s reading. This is an excellent way to help improve the literacy skills of our children.

“Have conversations with your children and ask them how their day was and do listen. If your child sees you showing an interest in their schooling, they will want to do well.”

Lockington would also like give students the message that learning is essential in ensuring your future is a successful one. “Leave the negative attitude at the school gate; learning can be fun, if you do your part.”

“Be there, play, choose a positive attitude and make someone’s day. Together we can all make a difference.”

Meanwhile on the northern group island of Pukapuka, the Niua school roll to date stands at 143 students, a slight drop from the roll at the end of 2018 of 149.

Principal Anna Katoa says they are expecting more enrolments when the boat arrives and some preschoolers have yet to start school.

She is confident the numbers will increase during the year as families that had left the island during the Maire Maeva Nui have yet to return.

Presently, Niua has eight qualified teachers with a long term reliever (retiree). Katoa herself is the ninth teacher.

Currently a teacher is also filling as a secondary English teacher until a replacement and a new local teacher from New Zealand lands on the island.

There are five teacher aides with roles ranging from Early Childhood Learning (ECE) Preschool aide, inclusive Education IEP (2), the concurrent teacher training programme and the other general.

Katoa is looking forward to another successful year for Apii Niua in terms of story writing, numeracy, and lifting students’ ability levels in literacy of the three languages Pukapukan, Cook Islands Maori and English.

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