HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 593: 7 December2011

First-Time Principals Programme Graduates
The Ministry of Education held a special graduation ceremony on Monday for four Cook Island school principals. The ceremony acknowledged the graduation of Nooroa Ingaua of Rutaki School, Teaea Parima of Tereora College, Enoa Raea of Araura College and Vae Unuka of Arorangi School from the eighteen-month long First-Time Principals Programme. The programme is delivered by the University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership and graduates receive a National Certificate for First-Time Principals Programme Completion.
The graduates are part of a group of Cook Island principals who have been supported by the Ministry of Education, in partnership with New Zealand Aid, to participate in the programme. Other current participants include Engia Pate of Takitumu School, Nga Charlie of Avatea School, Tira Tararo of Mitiaro School and Josephine Ivirangi of Mauke School. In addition to this, Mata Hetland of Titikaveka College and Terangi Elika of Nikao Maori School will begin the program in 2012.
The purpose of the First-Time Principals Programme is to develop the knowledge, skills and capabilities of first-time principals in order to support their effective school leadership. The Cook Islands is the only Pacific Island country participating in the programme. Components of the demanding course include research and self-assessment, e-learning, completion of residential block courses and presentation of a portfolio. Another key component of the course is the mentoring programme, where participants are required to work with a mentor who has been trained by the University of Auckland, however there was previously no one qualified in the Cook Islands for this role. The Ministry of Education addressed this need by sending Cook Islander Ani Piri to be trained, so that she was then able to fulfil the role of mentor for the current participants. Piri is now an accredited mentor for principals and Secretary of Education, Sharon Paio, expressed that Piri had “done a superb job” in the role so far.
Paio completed the programme earlier in her career and commented, “For me personally, I found this programme particularly helpful, strengthening and confidence building.” One of the graduates, Enoa Raea, has in fact recently been appointed to a position in the Pasifika Education unit at the Ministry of Education in New Zealand – perhaps a reflection of the calibre of the graduates of the course. Despite the intensity of the programme, the graduates all felt positively about it and encouraged the future graduates to persevere and complete the programme. The Ministry of Education and the whole of the Cook Islands can look forward to at least another six principals graduating from the programme over the next year or so, ensuring the continued strength of education for children of the Cook Islands. -Ngariki Ngatae

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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