HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 570:29 June 2011

Student exchange scheme proposed

Government is proposing an initiative to facilitate economic growth firstly in Aitutaki and later Atiu.
To underpin and sustain this growth especially in tourism and the tourism support sector such as agriculture, is a proposal that secondary school students in Atiu complete their sixth and seventh form years in Aitutaki.
The Herald obtained brief details of the initiative from the Minister for Education’s office on Tuesday morning.
The proposal is to obtain agreement for a pilot programme involving Atiu and later other outer islands.
Education Minister Hon Teina Bishop is traveling to Aitutaki on Tuesday afternoon and on to Atiu late Wednesday with a team comprising Ministry of Tourism CEO Carmel Beattie, Ministry of Education CEO Sharyn Paio and NHRD Head Frances Topa. Also with the group from Tourism Corp will be Metua Vaiimene and Christian Mani an IT officer. From Education will be Finance officer Anthony Turua. For Beattie, this will be her first trip to Aitutaki.
A seventh form class will be established at Araura College in Aitutaki and students will no longer travel to Rarotonga to complete their secondary education. Offered will be tourism related studies. Other life skills courses will be made available through NHRD for students wishing to complete studies in other topics.
The trip is to meet with members of the tourism sector to establish partnerships as part of the education initiative. Meetings will also be held with the newly formed Aitutaki Business Association and the Council.
Once Council buy in is achieved in Aitutaki and Atiu, various support mechanisms will kick in. The Councils will become responsible for coordinating activities. Funding will be made available to design courses and vocational training. Home stay will be arranged for the students.
A key outcome will be to establish an MOU-memorandum of understanding, between the Councils of Aitutaki and Atiu. Another outcome is to keep students in school and trained and qualified to pick up jobs in the tourism and tourism related sectors in Aitutaki and Atiu.
In another first, Aitutaki will get a Chinese tutor to teach Mandarin.
This initiative is also aimed at restoring the previously good cultural, sporting and working relationship between Aitutaki and Atiu.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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