12 Aug 2011

Rebuilt northern Cook Islands school opens

1:45 pm on 12 August 2011

The prinicipal of a new school on Penrhyn in the northern Cook Islands says his students are very excited to be in their classrooms after a cyclone damaged their old school last year.

Omoka High School opened this week after the old school was condemned following a cyclone in 2010 and classes were run in a small community hall.

Tyronne Weerasinghe says the island has a population of just under two hundred people.

He says he and the three other teachers as well as the sixty-one children enrolled, are all extremely happy and grateful for their new school.

"The new Omoka High School is so good, raised up on pillars and has long verandah, with three classrooms, one computer room with air condition and one principals office and resources room. The kids are so excited when I had assembly yesterday, yesterday morning."

Mr Weerasinghe says the construction of the school is top quality and designed to withstand future cyclones.

He says it was built with the backing of the New Zealand aid programme and he wants to thank all those who supported the project.