HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 577: 17 August 2011

Recruitment drive - Reo Karangaranga e Reo Kapikianga mei te Ipukarea
The need for qualified and experienced teachers and educational personnel to fill vacancies in secondary schools and in the MOE main office has been an ongoing challenge for many years. The Ministry of Education recognises that quality education is essential if our country is to achieve significant future economic growth and development. We are therefore committed to providing an education system that offers long term self-sustainability and self-reliance. An attempt to address this issue was the basis for the decision to undertake the recent recruitment drive or ‘Reo Kapikianga mei te Ipukarea’ to New Zealand prior to advertising our 2012 vacancies.
The purpose of this recruitment drive was to meet with Cook Islands teachers (practitioners and pre-service trainees) and those involved in educational administration, as well as students currently studying at universities in New Zealand, to promote teaching opportunities in the Cook Islands from 2012 onwards.
A team of two senior MoE staff (Mrs Ani Piri and Mr John Teao) from the HRM division travelled to New Zealand on 17 July for a period of seven days to undertake this recruitment drive. Their visit included:
1. Face-to-face presentations to our Cook Islands community and punanga of teachers in three main areas - Tokoroa, Wellington/Porirua and Auckland.
2. Meeting teachers on a one-to-one basis or in small groups for consultation and discussions.
3. Making contact by telephone and/or email with any teachers who were unable to attend the big group presentations.
4. Radio promotion and discussion on both Ratio Iva Nui (Wellington) and Radio PI (Auckland).
5. Collecting database information on Cook Islands teachers and university students in New Zealand and Australia including names, contact addresses, phone and email addresses.
6. Surveying those teachers and students who attended the planned presentations to ascertain their interest and intentions to return to the Cook Islands.
7. Following up any other available contacts and leads.
The first meeting was held at Tokoroa High School on Monday, 18 July. The team was welcomed by the Principal (one of our own - William Ford of Penrhyn descent) and met with Cook Islands teachers employed at schools in the Tokoroa area. It was pleasing that some teachers indicated that they do think about coming back home in the future to work in the education sector.
On 19 July, the team travelled to Wellington where they met with Cook Islands students studying at Victoria University and also with Cook Islands teachers at Porirua College. Three current students at the university indicated their interest in coming home to work in the education sector from next year onwards. There were also some older teachers who expressed an interest in returning home to teach.
From 5:00 am to 7:00 am on Wednesday 20 July, the team conducted an interview and talk-back programme on Ratio Ivanui promoting teaching opportunities in the Cook Islands to our Cook Islands teachers living in New Zealand. The entire programme was conducted in Cook Islands Maori and stimulated considerable interest.
Later that same day the team returned to Auckland and met with our Cook Islands teachers/community at the Pukapuka Hall. Most of those who attended that meeting were of northern group descent and are currently working or completing their study programmes either in early childhood or primary education. Some interest to work in northern group schools was shown at this meeting by those in attendance.
On 22 July, a meeting was held with Cook Islands students currently attending the University of Auckland. The team reports how nice it was to meet with those able to attend that meeting and noted that some very good questions were raised and issues discussed.
Overall, the recruitment drive was very positive for our Ministry. A great deal of real interest was evident from NZ based Cook Islanders who met with our team – both teachers and those still studying at University. The Ministry of Education is optimistic that by maintaining regular communication with the contacts made, we may be able to entice more Cook Islanders to return “home” to teach our beautiful children.

- Sharyn Paio
Secretery of Education

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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