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MIT supports Pacific Island high schools with qualification

7 March 2014

MIT supports Pacific Island secondary schools with new qualification

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) has commenced a three year major project in the Pacific Islands to address early student disengagement in secondary schools.

MIT is working with its respective partners in both countries - the Ministry of Education, Qualifications Authority, tertiary/ post-secondary providers and secondary schools, to develop and introduce a new qualification, Certificate in Technical Skills into secondary schools.

Supporting MIT in Tonga are tertiary providers; Tonga Institute of Science and Technology, Tupou Tertiary Institute, Ahopanilolo Technical Institute and St Josephs Business College.

The initiative titled, MIT Pacific Islands Secondary Tertiary Development Project, aims to encourage unresponsive students to stay in the school system longer and further their education through vocational pathways.

Those students who still choose to end their schooling at a secondary level will have useful trade skills enabling them to find employment in the local economy or make valuable contributions to their villages.

The Tongan secondary schools involved in the programme are Tonga College, Tonga High School, Tupou College Toloa, Tupou High School and Apifo’ou College.

MIT has returned from its first of three annual visits to Tonga completing the first of a series of workshops this year with secondary schools and in-country partners, who are now in the process of rolling out the programme to students.

MIT, renowned for its work in providing vocational training to communities and multiple pathways, was the natural choice to establish and oversee this project.

MIT’s Director of External Relations Dr Stuart Middleton says, “This is a valued opportunity for MIT to work with our partners on the provision of practical education that will benefit the young people of Tonga.”

“MIT is a leader in the development of programmes that combine secondary and tertiary education,” he says.

“At the end of the project we hope that a number of schools will be offering a trade’s programme that leads either to further education and training or to employment.”

MIT has completed a pre-project visit to Samoa and will see the first set of workshops completed in June 2014.

ENDS

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