22 Feb 2012

Cook Islands education officials ponder how to lift student performance on Mangaia

7:41 am on 22 February 2012

The Secretary of Education in the Cook Islands, Sharon Paio, says efforts are being made to lift the island of Mangaia's performance in terms of literacy and numeracy.

This was one of the issues discussed when a high powered team of officials, including the Education Minister Teina Bishop, visited the island last week.

Ms Paio says in the past two years Mangaia has been up to five percent below the norm in terms of literacy and numeracy.

She says the visiting group wanted to find out what had happened in the two-year period to cause the drop in performance.

"It was a really good opportunity to talk with the community and hear their thoughts as well. And there is nothing we can specifically pinpoint that is causing that, although there are some social pressures on children that perhaps didn't exist before - exposure to distractions from school. Perhaps that is part of the reason."