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Tuesday 23 February 2010 | Published in Regional


Students from Aitutaki’s four schools will receive the innovative ‘School-in-a-Box’ provided by the United Nations Children’s Fund as they begin classes again this week.

About $5000 worth of school resources are contained in the kits which have become part of the UNICEF standard response in emergencies. They are used in many back-to-school operations around the world to provide the chance for children to continue their education during the most extreme crises.

Ministry of education director of finance and support services, Anthony Turua, says 500 school children in Aitutaki will all get resource sets and recreational gear from the kits such as exercise books, pencils, posters and games.

The kit comes in a lockable aluminium box – the lid even doubles as a blackboard when coated with the special paint included in the kit.

Part of the ministry team assessing the cyclone damage to schools on the island, Turua says just over $100,000 worth of resource damage has been recorded at the four schools.

The worst hit was the SDA School which Turua says lost a staggering 95 percent of its resources when its buildings were almost completely devastated by cyclone Pat.

Turua says flood damage caused much of the resource loss at the schools, especially to electronic equipment such as computers.

The UNICEF kits were sent from their Fiji office and were air-freighted to Aitutaki yesterday by government.