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Letter: Improving our education system

Monday 26 June 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Letter: Improving our education system

Dear Editor, Education is of paramount importance in every country, as it serves as a foundation for a successful and prosperous society.

A robust education system can help lower poverty levels, reduce crime rates, and create a more harmonious community. However, the Cook Islands have been struggling to maintain an adequate education system that caters to its population’s needs. Students in public schools are failing at an alarming rate, with many resorting to dropping out and seeking work as the only alternative. This issue stems from various factors that contribute to the decline in the quality of education within the Cook Islands.

One significant reason behind this problem is that teenagers are not fully aware of the importance of education. They lack proper guidance from adults and role models who could instil in them the value of learning. Parents have become less involved in their children’s education, failing to provide support and encouragement essential for their academic success.

Teacher engagement plays a crucial role in motivating students to pursue their education and strive for excellence. To achieve this, teachers must be approachable, caring, and passionate about nurturing their students’ growth. Unfortunately, schools around Rarotonga show signs of teachers losing their enthusiasm for teaching due to inadequate wages, scarce resources, or negative student attitudes.

The recent Careers Expo Day offered limited opportunities for students looking to find their career path. While the event primarily showcased government sectors, it is essential to remember that there are numerous other avenues for aspiring young professionals.

As we venture further into the 21st century, it is crucial to adapt our education system according to new trends and technological advancements. The job market landscape has shifted dramatically over the years due to emerging industries and professions driven by technology. Traditional subjects taught in schools might no longer be sufficient preparation for today’s workforce demands.

Social media platforms have created opportunities for young people to earn significant income through viral content creation and influencer marketing. It highlights the need for a more flexible and diverse curriculum that supports students in pursuing their passions instead of imposing conventional academic pathways on them.

To improve our school system in the Cook Islands, teachers need to engage with students on a deeper level by understanding their interests and ambitions. By doing so, they can tailor their teaching methods to guide students towards a successful career in their chosen fields. Additionally, increased parental involvement and encouragement can positively impact children’s academic achievements and drive their desire to learn.

The Cook Islands education system requires improvement across multiple facets to cultivate an environment that promotes learning, growth, and success. Addressing the concerns of student engagement, teacher passion, parental involvement and up-to-date curriculum are necessary steps towards ensuring a bright future for the nation’s youth.

Sammy Mataroa