Aspiring schoolteacher Makiroa Tipokoroa of Rarotonga is taking part in artwork training for the first time.
She hopes that her new skills will help her in teaching early childhood and primary school students.
Tipokoroa is one of the five students who are part of the inaugural Concurrent Teacher Training Programme.
Expressing one’s feelings using different colours and tones was one of the major lessons she learnt from the classes, she said.
Tipokoroa’s favourite artwork was a drawing she made of her daughter.
Manihiki’s Toga Toga said his favourite drawing was of the mountains, the Arorangi view looking towards town.
Toga said he chose to be part of the teacher training programme to spread the love and knowledge for art on Manihiki.
Lecturer and facilitator of the training programme, Gaylene Mauheni, said the five students were the first intake in the Concurrent Teacher Training Programme.
Mauheni said it was a three-year programme for early childhood education, primary and secondary school level.
In the fourth year, she said they would start their teaching journey in the classroom as trainees.
Mauheni said the first year of the programme focused on visual art, the second year on social science, science and technology and the third year was dedicated towards research.
Art, she said was part of the teaching curriculum and taught in the classrooms just like other subjects; science, social science, English, Maori and mathematics and technology.
Mauheni said the programme encourages young men and women from the Pa Enua, in a hope to provide more teachers for the outer islands.
Students from Atiu, Manihiki, Tongareva, Pukapuka and Rarotonga are part of this year’s Concurrent Teacher Training Programme.
“We have a good mix, but the idea is to train them and send them back home, because the idea is to give back to our people”.
Lecturer Lee Raela said the objective of the programme was to give the students the confidence to teach in classrooms and to implement art into the curriculum and other subject areas.
“We focused on painting, used a range like print making, collage and a variety with the hope that as they gain confidence they will be excited about doing some art class with the young students.