Students from Nukutere College have been treated to teaching from Rarotonga resident Teina McKenzie who has integrated 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the programme.
Nukutere College Year 7 and 8 social studies classes have had a great time learning about “The World’s Largest Lesson,” A larger initiative that the pilot programme grew from.
McKenzie said she had been impressed with the students’ abilities to retain information and their enthusiasm for learning.
“They have even been able to express some actions and initiatives in order to move closer to achieving the SDGs,” she said.
“My desire is to get the young people thinking critically about what is happening in the communities and develop their interests in current issues so they can be productive in the country and in the wider world.”
McKenzie said she would like to introduce the pilot programme to more schools and give more students an opportunity to grow and develop and also recognize that their actions and interest in issues make a difference.
Social studies year 7 and 8 teacher Tatari Mitchell said the introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals was great for students of this age.
“Things are easily caught and understood and as they grow into that crucial developing age of a teenager, the awareness will still be there.
“Every goal connects to every step they take in life, so it’s either the choice of activating the goal or not.”
Mitchell has seen a change in some students as a result of what they have learned and has noticed them relating their own experience to the goals and lessons. Nukutere Student Tutai Herman said she had learnt much about the SDG and how to solve problems and achieve goals to improve the island.
Another student, Jean Teatai Ariki, said the past few lessons have helped him understand why it was important to look after the environment and the wider world.
“I am now going to make sure I don’t throw any rubbish,” Ariki said.
Herman believes that if Rarotonga residents come together as a community and as an island they can solve any problems they might encounter.
“We can achieve a lot more when we work together as a community than individually” Herman said.