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Back to school: Children eager to learn and thrive

Saturday 28 January 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Education, National


Back to school: Children eager to learn and thrive
Apii St Joseph students enjoying their first week of school. 23012718

It has been an exciting week for some Rarotonga children who welcomed a new schooling year with bright smiles, eager to learn and adapt into their new classes.

At St Joseph’s Primary School, nine-year-old Aamire Teariki says she is glad to be back at school. She spent the festive holiday camping with her family. The Year 6 student plans to join Nukutere College next year.

Manava Tiere, 10, says returning to school gave her the opportunity to meet her friends. She stayed home and did some household chores during the school break. The Year 6 student plans to join Nukutere College before finishing her secondary school studies at Tereora College.

Iosepha Tuteru says the year 2023 gives him a chance to have a fresh start, to learn new things and meet his friends.

He spent the holiday swimming, helped with a garage sale and stayed home. He also plans to join Nukutere College after completing Year 6.

While senior students are excited for their final year at St Joseph’s, five-year-old Troy Henry is looking forward to Year 1 this year.

According to school principal Savenaca Tukitoba, they enrolled 153 students this week and are still receiving calls from parents wanting to bring their children to join the school.

Tukitoba says student attendance from Wednesday has been positive.

“We are expecting more students this year. Last year we started with 140 students and numbers increased to 165.”

The highlights for the 2023 academic year include:

  • The school is offering religious education every day from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to Year 6 as a way of preparing Catholic students for special sacrament for the Catholic Faith.
  • Year 5 and 6 will be engaging in chrome books and computers soon and ECE to Year 4 will be using iPads daily. Special needs students will also be provided iPads. Computers are donated by ANZ and will be set up in the school library.
  • The school has a reading remedial full-time teacher who will be tasked to help students with numeracy and literacy work.
  • Cook Islands Maori classes, programmes and activities are also provided throughout the year.
  • The school has a dental nurse and room and will soon begin with their gardening projects with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Apii Arorangi this week welcomed their new principal Annie Kauvarevai this year.

Kauvarevai, who is from Mangaia, says seeing the students coming to school is exciting for her as the new principal.

Year 6 students Lemuel Rangi, Ari Mustonen, Cexiro Tauraki with school principal Annie Kauvarevai and Wyatt Ataera at Apii Arorangi School. 23012720

She taught at Apii Avarua for 17 years before moving to Apii Arorangi to take charge.

Kauvarevai sees the new role as a challenge but believes the school is manageable.

“Our aim this year is to bring more students to the school and include the community, so we can work together to build the school at the same time.”

She is calling on parents and encouraging them to send their children to school and visit the school, teachers and principal for any concerns they may have.

Classes at Apii Arorangi started on Thursday. Year 6 student Lemuel Rangi, 11, says he’s happy to be back in school and to meet his friend after the long break. He spent the holiday swimming.

Cexiro Tauraki, says her school holiday was great as she went hiking on the Raemaru Mountain and it was fun. She looks forward to more fun learning in school with her friends.

Wyatt Ataera is glad to be reunited with his friends.

He did not do much during the holiday, but spent time at the waterfall and the beach.

Ari Mustonen spent the holiday with his cousins, swimming and having fun. He’s also glad to be back in school.

Apii Rutaki principal Margaret Teiti says she was happy to welcome her students on Thursday morning.

Apii Rutaki Year 6 students have P.E classes. 23012722 / 23012723

Teiti says most of the students have not returned to school but is hoping they will be attending classes on Monday.

Last year the school had 80 students as numbers decreased after Covid and Teiti hopes to get more students this year.

Apii Te Uki Ou welcomed around 240 students on Wednesday. According to their Facebook page, the students were happy and engaged in knowing their classroom, teachers and classmates.

Apii Te Uki Ou students back in school this week. Photo: APII TE UKI OU / 23012747

Classes at Apii Takitumu and Apii Nikao began on Thursday this week.

Tereora College’s last day of enrolment was on Tuesday, January 24. The Year 12 students also confirmed their courses with the school’s managers of curriculums this week. Classes begin proper on Monday, January 30.

Classes at Titikaveka College began on Thursday, this week.

Imanuela Akatemia will start their 2023 academic year on Monday, January 30.