As the whales pass by, the students and teachers have a clear vision of these majestic animals from their classrooms.
“We see the whales all the time from here at school,” says a year 7 student.
The school roll is 155, from early childhood learning to tear 12.
Mike Papatua, principal of the school for four years, says many students have a lot of potential: “For the past three years we have invested a lot in our kids, building a path way for them from Mangaia to Rarotonga, on to university overseas.”
Two Mangaian students, Elijah Poila and Alberto Arokapiti will be representing the Cook Islands in athletics in Townsville, Australia.
Last year 12 students from Mangaia moved to Rarotonga to attend Tereora college; four Mangaia students headed off to university this year.
Each year teachers from Tereora visit Mangaia school for a couple of weeks. “We relooked at our system and linked it with Tereora.”
There are two initiatives the school is implementing using technology. “We need a strong foundation, the key elements are literacy and numeracy, we are building that up.”
Ninety-six students are enrolled in ‘Maths Buddy’, an online programme to improve their numeracy skills, and another online package named ‘Read’ is being trialled.
In the next few weeks, the year 7 and 8 pupils will arrive on Rarotonga for an exchange programme with Apii Nikao.