Marine learning kits coming to the classroom

Saturday October 25, 2014 Written by Published in Education
Avatea School principal Nga Charlie recieves the school’s new teachers’ kits from MMR Administration Officer Uirangi Bishop at the handover ceremony. 14102416 Avatea School principal Nga Charlie recieves the school’s new teachers’ kits from MMR Administration Officer Uirangi Bishop at the handover ceremony. 14102416

Efforts to educate children about the ocean were given a big boost yesterday with the handing over of a number of learning kits to schoolteachers and principles.

The kits were developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). 
During a handover ceremony yesterday morning, Education and Marine Resources Minister Mona Ioane emphasised the importance of incorporating marine-related issues into the school curriculum for students of all ages.
“Making sure that our oceans and fisheries are healthy and sustainable into the future is crucial for all Cook Islanders,” he said. “Let’s teach our children why, and the role that they can play to conserve what we have for generations to come.”
Present at the handover, SPC Fisheries Information Specialist Aymeric Desurmont said similar materials have been prepared for other Pacific nations, but not as comprehensively as what has been done for the Cooks.
“This was a pilot programme and with the assistance of Mike King, a consultant hired for the project; what was only a plan two years ago has finally become a reality,” he said.
“I express my sincere thank you to all who assisted us and trust that the teachers will be able to utilise these kits for the purpose that they were created, and that is for the education of children to increase their knowledge in fisheries and to take that knowledge through to their adulthood,” added Desurmont.
Secretary of Education Sharyn Paio expressed gratitude on behalf of the Ministry, saying efforts will be made to put the kits to good use.
 “We should be educating our children on living in a large ocean state,” she said. “We’re extremely grateful, and I hope we can reciprocate.”
MMR Secretary Ben Ponia said he was greatly impressed with the enthusiasm he’s seen from teachers in bringing in the material to the curriculum.
Ponia also spoke of his staff’s role, saying not only do they contribute their day’s work towards the stewardship of marine resources, but are also parents and interested in seeing youth gain valuable knowledge of the ocean.
“We are parents as well, and we want our children to understand their environment,” he said.
Around 200 kits have been assembled, and include a teacher’s guide, 20 information sheets, dvd’s, and fish posters, plus other learning materials.

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