We are one step closer to achieving a vision that has been in the works since the development of the Cook Islands Development Action Plan set in 2013 to 2022.
The Ta’okotai’anga – CIDANZ is building the very first ‘total immersion’ Cook Islands Early Childhood Education Centre in Auckland. Approved funding through the Ministry of Education for a 60 children facility in Mangere was received in 2015 and in 2016, the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board approved to lease approximately 640m² of Old School Reserve in Mangere for the building of the facility. With the incredible Project Management and Architectural support of Strachan Group Architects and its many agents the resource consent was approved in January 2018, and final plans signed off by our Chief Executive.
As we draw closer to the turning of soil for the oneCHILD Centre Project this year, so too is the completion of the first ‘total immersion’ curriculum framework for the centre.
On Friday 15th June the oneCHILD Project Group met to view and discuss the proposal: Rima Akataka Approach – this is a hands on experience in learning for the tamariki potiki of the centre, based on tacit knowledge of the Cook Islands (indigenous people’s knowledge developed over time, and continue to develop). The discourse in literature and group discussion covered the Cook Islands Maori Reo, quality learning, quality teachers, authentic learners, practical and literate learning, nature studies, literature, global approaches and theories.
The centre will be indigegogy based, where our tamariki potiki will be totally immersed in the Cook Islands Maori reo and a Cook Islands Maori worldview. Our tamariki potiki will learn through a culturally responsive-relational pedagogy with a collaborative pathway to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the Cook Islands Maori Reo, Akonoanga and People in a new indigenous cultural environment. We are creating a new and exciting wave of learning for our tamariki potiki in Aotearoa.
Currently the Trust is going through a rigorous process to select the right builders for this work. We look forward to beginning the new year with a soil turning ceremony to mark this momentous occasion.