Te Mato Vai making education waves

Friday May 01, 2015 Written by Release/PW Published in Education
From left, Avarua School principal Teremoana Herman, Te Mato Vai representative Jaewynn McKay, and water conservation educator June Hosking handing over resources for use at Avarua School as a follow up to the lessons June is delivering. From left, Avarua School principal Teremoana Herman, Te Mato Vai representative Jaewynn McKay, and water conservation educator June Hosking handing over resources for use at Avarua School as a follow up to the lessons June is delivering.

The Te Mato Vai water education programme currently being delivered to all but one school on Rarotonga has reached the end of its second week, said Te Mato Vai representative Jaewynn McKay.

“Over the first four weeks of term two our water educator June Hosking is visiting schools class by class,” said McKay.

“This takes more time, but gives students a better learning experience. The classes range from preschool to Year 13 and June has planned four different lessons covering junior primary, upper Primary, junior high and upper high school.”

Hosking said she is ‘really pleased’ that Te Mato Vai has put aside a budget for water conservation.

“It seems to me that in days gone by planning for education of the next generation, our future leaders, wasn’t done. I guess back when public and private sectors tended to keep to themselves people considered education was the job of the Ministry of Education,” she said.

“Now, more and more, we realise education is everyone's responsibility.” 

Hosking is also receiving extra requests to talk with groups and is happy to do so where she can find time. 

So to add to the schools she will also be visiting, Hosking will also be presenting to Titikaveka Boy’s Brigade group and the Prison School.

“June is talking about water conservation, good stewardship of a precious resource, not just because we need to make sure there is enough water to go around, but because by using less water we can reduce our negative impact upon our environment, said McKay. 

The programme has a poster showing Rarotonga’s water cycle. 

“Students can see we humans are also a part of the water cycle, the part that turns clean water into polluted water,” said McKay.

While the main part of lessons is to do with ways to save water, they taking a holistic look at life, meaning people ask themselves what they can do not only reduce our usage, but also to stop polluted water damaging the environment, she said. 

In the high school classes, the programme looks at real life examples where water wastage is occurring and discuss how, as a student, they could be proactive in fixing that particular problem. 

“It may be that they figure out who they should talk to about the issue and what they would say to convince them to remedy the problem, it may be that it is a problem they can work on themselves,” said Mckay.  

In the lead up to Cook Islands 50th anniversary celebrations later this year, schools will be focusing on the theme of celebrations. Hosking is suggesting to all schools that they find out from their community how the water situation was 50 years ago. 

“A look back will assuredly give schools reason to celebrate progress made in providing for water needs.  It may also give reason to reflect on how much we now take for granted and perhaps use carelessly; that perhaps increased access to water has inadvertently increased our negative environmental impact.”

Hosking is also suggesting to teachers how this topic could become the springboard for a class, group or individual study for those participating in Lagoon Day’s Solution Finders Expo in October.

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