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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Should we be worried about a 16 per cent NCEA pilot pass rate?

Monday 14 November 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Should we be worried about a 16 per cent NCEA pilot pass rate?

Dear Editor, Kia orana ki to tatou iti tangata. I read with shock that our Cook Islands’ students received a 16 per cent pass rate during the NCEA pilot test.

Living in Mauke, I watched my children struggle with Pa Enua schooling and after two years, I made the sacrifice to relocate them to Rarotonga for school. From then, their education has improved in leaps and bounds. If schooling in Rarotonga is an improvement from schooling in the Pa Enua, can you imagine what the pass rate for the NCEA pilot would have been if they tested our Pa Enua students?

When will it be a good time to address the issues within the Education Ministry? We want the best for our children but if options are limited for our children, what does that say about us as parents? Does it reflect badly on parents or does it reflect terribly on our education system? Should we as parents send our children overseas to seek a better education? Can we afford to send them overseas? If we do not speak up, will anything change? What does the future of the Cook Islands look like if we do not give our children the education they need in order for our country to be on par with the global stage?

A few solutions that need to be considered:

  • Change in leadership
  • Support for the leadership in the form of an Education board
  • Review the Education Act and outline performance targets as well as reporting requirements
  • Create accountability across the MOE (Ministry of Education)
  • Set targets and require quarterly reports to ensure all is on track to meet these targets
  • Identify and address resource needs
  • Close the gap between schooling in the Pa Enua and schools in Rarotonga.

I understand that there are many areas to the education system that needs to be addressed and the issues will not be resolved overnight but there is no time like the present to get started. As a Pa Enua resident and parent, I would love to be part of the solution and am happy to assist with any review or discussion and if required, offer my time as a Pa Enua representative on the board if one does come to fruition.

Meitaki nui

Eileen Story
Mauke