College boxes on in spite of August fire

Friday September 30, 2016 Written by Published in Education
Temporary classrooms set up at Tereora College in the aftermath of August’s fire. 16081007 Temporary classrooms set up at Tereora College in the aftermath of August’s fire. 16081007

AS INVESTIGATIONS continue into a fire that damaged three classrooms at Tereora College in August, the school continues to function as normally as possible.

 

At the end of August, the Commander of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Detective Inspector Areumu Ingaua said the inquiry into the Tereora College fire was ongoing. He added there was no time limit on police investigations. 

Now almost two months have passed since the blaze, but students at the college are getting on with their daily classes as normally as they can.

College principal Tania Morgan said this week in a college newsletter that news of the fire had rocked the community.

Faced with three damaged classrooms and damage to a science laboratory, the college was forced to relocate 15 classrooms while the police and Cook Islands Investment Corporation carried out their investigations.

Despite the impact staff and students had handled the situation with resilience and determination, and learning was well underway, Morgan said.

However, the fire had damaged classrooms, classroom resources, teaching resources and student resources.

Staff, students and parents remained the schools biggest resource and continue to be their strength, she said.

“I do not see this as a major setback; rather this is an opportunity for us to build on that strength and learning experiences that are unique to us.

“Someone asked me the other day what it meant to us to be the national college. It is the ability to represent the Cook Islands on an international academic stage, and this we have done with pride and will continue to do so.

Meanwhile, the police are treating the fire as arson. Ingaua believes the fire was deliberately started and exhibits collected in the aftermath of the blaze have been sent to New Zealand for forensic examination.

Ingaua said most of the people around the Tereora area had already been interviewed and the results had been recorded and analysed. 

The fire occurred in the midnight hours of August 8 forcing the college to delay the start of term 3.

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