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Avarua tunes into Small Island Voice forum

by Tara Carr

Photo caption: Avarua students Wayne Robati and Temaru Quarter try out the schools newly donated computer system as they complete their Small Islands Voice discussion project.

A new computer system will enable Avarua primary school students to participate in UNESCO's Small Islands Voice Youth Internet Forum 2003. The school is the chosen site for the launch of the forum in the Cook Islands. The initiative is to improve communication and discussion of issues of concern amongst youth in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. The coordinator for the Small Islands Voice project, Bruce Gray also presented the school with a CD writer, printer and scanner and several educational programmes funded by project. The computer will be used to post on the worldwide web the Avarua student's discussion papers on selected issues and to respond to issues posted by students from the other regions involved in the project.

Avarua principal Gelling Jack says the computer is also a great tool to assist the students with research for school projects and the school will look into additional hours on the internet. He says he is optimistic that students will progress from the opportunities now available to them. While the internet provides a wide range of tools to assist students, there is also information that students should not have access to. Jack says he was aware of the disadvantages of having internet access and a charge teacher will monitor it closely.

Teacher Nga Charlie says the students are focusing their discussion papers on the following topics - drug abuse with the focus on marijuana, pregnancies, literacy problems and comprehension and noise pollution. The topics were chosen by the Avarua students as a result of a survey of SIV Youth. Charlie says she has been impressed with the response from the students who are also using families and friends for ideas on the topics.

Form 1 students William Tangianau and Araitia Araitia say they were both enjoying the opportunity to work with the Small Islands Voice Project. Araitia says it was fun and something different. Both have found their subject, noise pollution, slightly hard to complete, says Araitia, especially when trying to find solutions to the problem. Gray praises the young students and says that Avarua is the first and only primary school to be involved in the programme.

Gray thanked The Computer Man's Steve Smith for making such a high quality computer package available at a very special price.

Gray also thanked Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) for sponsoring the internet connection and four hours of free internet use per month.

Cook Islands News, 05 March 2003


To get involved, contact :


Ms. Imogen Ingram
Island Sustainability Alliance (C.I.) Inc.
P.O. Box 492
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
T 682 22128, 682 58289 (m)
F 682 22128

Ms. Jacqui Evans
Taporoporoanga Ipukarea Society
P.O. Box 796
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
T 682 29110 (w) 682 55050 (m)

Ms. Gail Townsend and Ms Jane Taurarii
Curriculum Development Unit
Ministry of Education
P.O. Box 97,
Nikao, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
T 682 25270 F 682 28357


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