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EIT Partners With Cook Islands Educator

EIT Partners With Cook Islands Educator

EIT has teamed up with the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute to deliver several trades courses in Rarotonga.

In the past, CITTI has worked with a number of New Zealand tertiary educators in delivering trades and other programmes to students on its campus in Avarua, the island group’s capital. Last year, aiming to consolidate, it singled out EIT to be its key partner – a move based on EIT’s reputation and experience with similar programmes and students.

The partnership has continued to grow since it was signed off by CITTI, EIT and NZQA early this year. At EIT’s end, it is being managed by deputy chief executive Claire Hague and overall project manager Aayden Clarke.

CITTI saw EIT’s role in Tairāwhiti as a plus, Claire says.

“The populations and needs are in some cases similar. A high number of youth need support into foundation-level study and transitioning between secondary and tertiary education. And the need for economic development in the Cooks, like Gisborne, is underpinned by industry skills training.”

Aayden says the partnership also has benefits for EIT.

“Our staff are learning flexibility in delivering programmes. The tutors who go from here to the Cook Islands have to be a good fit to teach the students well.”

The Level 1 Certificate in Applied Practical Skills programme started in the first semester and a second semester Certificate in Foundation Skills (Allied Trades) Level 2 programme is planned to provide a continuing pathway.

A first block course was held for electrical trades, and Level 3 electrical units are being explored as a pathway for this group of students.

At CITTI’s request, EIT has also assisted in developing and implementing office and administrative systems and purchasing equipment for its trades school. A pallet loaded with lawn mower engines and welding equipment was sent in March.

The partnership arrangement is for one year at a time.

“We have formed a really good relationship with the Cook Islanders and by continuing to work around their needs we hope to have further opportunities,” says Claire. “We are building CITTI’s capability so they can eventually operate on their own.”

Cook Islands secretary of education Sharyn Paio says she has been “really impressed” with the support EIT has provided for CITTI tutors and students.

“This partnership has been crucial to the success of CITTI which we are now starting to see emerge.”


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