The students also returned to a repaired generator, thirty new desks and chairs, and new uniforms donated by the visiting tele party from Australia.
Around ten new four-year olds will start school for the first time bringing the number of students at Niua School to approximately one hundred sixty-five, the largest in the Northern Group.
School events for the first term will include the first ever Career Expo, the second annual beauty contest, and a speech contest.
The popular Life Skills will continue in the afternoons where students learn makos, build kikau huts, weave, fix fishnets and sew. Two upper-school teachers will continue the popular afterschool computer class once a week. The returning popular Kiribati Principal Tekemau Ribabati says, “The students are very keen on the computer and they learn it very fast. We’re looking forward to a great school year.” Upcoming projects for the school will include general maintenance and repairs including the eventual installation of solar energy.
Niua School student scores last year on NCEA were the lowest in all of the Cook Islands. With the support of the Ministry of Education, the staff hopes to improve these scores this year. In addition to the NCEA scores, the greatest challenge facing Niua School is the transportation of the seven scholars to Rarotonga. The next scheduled transport from Pukapuka to Rarotonga is in April and the scholars will have to delay their much-anticipated new beginning.