Apii Arorangi students get their hands dirty for the ‘Touch Base with the Earth’ small garden programme on the first day back at school. PHOTO: MELINA ETCHES/22020717
After a week’s delay to the start of the new academic year to allow five to 11-year-olds to receive their first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, students on Rarotonga were back in the classrooms yesterday.
Principal of Apii
Arorangi, Mairi Heather said they started their first day with a church service
followed by an assembly then back into the classrooms.
The Apii Arorangi
Year 4, 5 and 6 students were happy to spend time getting their hands dirty in
the school garden pulling out weeds and preparing the soil for planting – part
of the ‘Touch Base with the Earth’ programme.
This gardening programme
is a continuation of the Agriculture mini garden project that was introduced to
the school three years ago, said Heather.
“It’s good for the
kids to spend some time in the garden and outdoors and the kids are happy
gardening, it’s therapeutic for them.”
There has been a
decrease in the enrollment numbers at the school.
classes start from Early Childhood Education (ECE) up to Grade 6, said Heather,
adding some students have moved overseas and to the Pa Enua and others have
moved to different schools,
“We are looking
forward to a good year and hopefully there won’t be too many disruptions.”
A total of 1148
children – representing approximately 79.8 per cent of the five to 11-year-old
children in this bracket (1437) on Rarotonga – received their first dose of the
Pfizer Covid-19 paediatric vaccine during the three-day rollout last week.
Schools in the Pa
Enua also started yesterday, except Aitutaki where schools will
open on Thursday to allow for the Pfizer vaccination of five to 11-year-olds on