‘For my family, for my island'

Friday January 24, 2020 Written by Published in Education
Akarere Taka is set to start her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of the South Pacific, she believes a tertiary student loans scheme would provide her peers with the same educational opportunities to study at home and stay at home. 20012314 Akarere Taka is set to start her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of the South Pacific, she believes a tertiary student loans scheme would provide her peers with the same educational opportunities to study at home and stay at home. 20012314

Akarere Taka was just 15 when she left her home island of Tongareva (Penrhyn) in 2017, dreaming of becoming a teacher.

She was one of four Year 11 students from Penrhyn who were granted a Ministry of Education Pa Enua Secondary School Student Scholarship to finish their schooling at Tereora College.

Despite feeling sad to leave her parents and family and the only island home she had ever known, Taka had wisdom beyond her years to know this was a move bigger than herself.

“I thought about how lucky I was to be able to have this opportunity, how grateful I was to the Education Ministry for giving me funds for my schooling and what I needed and how proud I wanted to make my parents, my family, my island and my people,” she said.

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Now aged 18, Taka was last year named Pa Enua Student of the Year at Tereora College. She is yet to receive her full NCEA Level 3 results, but she achieved 79 credits across her subjects, English, maths, Cook Islands Maori, dance and fashion, with Excellence Endorsement in Maori.

But the next part of her journey has only just begun. Taka has applied and been accepted to study towards a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of the South Pacific’s Cook Islands campus, starting next month.

Her parents have moved to Rarotonga and will support her while she pursues her Teacher’s Degree and her dream to become a primary school teacher.

While she’s been able to secure another Ministry of Education scholarship and her dad works fulltime to fund her studies, Taka believes a student loan scheme would encourage more local students to study at home and stay at home – while using their qualifications the good of Cook Islands.

Moving overseas is daunting and this scheme would provide the financial means for young people not as fortunate as her to pursue their education dreams.

“I’m going to be the first one from my family to go this far with my education,” she said.

“I’m doing this for them, my people, my island and my country.”

 

3 comments

  • Comment Link Tarakaimano Tutapu Wednesday, 29 January 2020 22:34 posted by Tarakaimano Tutapu

    Congratulations follow your dreams our tamariki in Tongareva will be so inspired by you if you can do it they can too

  • Comment Link Barbara Moore Sunday, 26 January 2020 08:41 posted by Barbara Moore

    Congratulations Taka, Continue to enjoy your studies and become a brilliant teacher.

  • Comment Link Kura Tekeu Saturday, 25 January 2020 08:54 posted by Kura Tekeu

    All the best to your future study in your future life. The present opportunity is a lifetime treasure for you and your family, Island and people. God bless in your journey.

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