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Taonga welcomed home as part of World Teachers Day

Taonga welcomed home as part of World Teachers Day celebrations in Gisborne

Teachers, school support staff and their communities will gather at dusk on Gisborne’s Midway beach on October 5 to welcome the return of a rakau korero (talking stick) that left Aotearoa one year ago.

October 5 marks World Teachers Day and the end of the Year of Global Action for education.

NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski will attend the ceremony, which will be a poignant homecoming for a taonga that has been overseas for a year.

The rakau korero symbolises the passing on of stories, knowledge and learning and reinforces the message that sharing the values and successes of quality public education is critically important.

The NZEI Te Riu Roa Poverty Bay Chair, Jonathan Poole, said it was fitting that the Year of Global Action ended at a twilight celebration at the place it began - Midway Beach, where a dawn ceremony and powhiri had marked the beginning of the year of events, themed “Celebrating Teachers and Education”.

Ms Nowotarski the ceremony would be an opportunity to celebrate all that is great about New Zealand’s public education system, while also reflecting on the work to be done to ensure that quality teaching and learning is not undermined.

“The Year of Global Action may have ended, but here in New Zealand, educators will continue to stand up against things that threaten quality public education – like charter schools, National Standards, Investing in Educational Success, and the introduction of EDUCANZ,” she said.

The raku koreo was presented in Rotorua last year to the President of Education International, Susan Hopgood, who carried it to New York as part of the international celebrations. It then continued its journey around the world and will be welcomed back to Aotearoa at the ceremony onOctober 5.

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