22 Jan 2007

Falling population threatens operation of Cook Islands Teachers' College

3:08 pm on 22 January 2007

The management of the Cook Islands teachers' college is looking at another role for the institution amid fears it might be closed down.

The college trains primary school teachers, but there are indications that a declining population makes the institution unnecessary.

The principal, Teremoana Maua Hodges, says the college and the ministry of education are looking at options to develop what is there, rather than close it down.

"The issue for the senior management and the ministry of education is how can we make use of the resources that have been put in place for the last four or five years and how can we make use of it. There are options and these options need to be discussed by senior management and once the options are put together, then we can test it out rather than close the teachers college, let's look at some options."

Teremoana Maua Hodges says options are upgrading the skills of teachers already in the classroom, including teaching them the Maori language and culture.

She says early childhood or secondary school training are other options they are looking at.