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Pacific secondary school students the focus of I-Pacific 2006 Week

31 March 2006

Secondary students throughout Christchurch are poised to take part in the
I-Pacific week, April 3 to 7, when a partnership of institutes and agencies run events aimed to bridge Pacific students from school to tertiary education and vocational training.

The Ministry of Education is leading the week, with the City Council core-funding the Spacifically Pacific Careers Expo and Workshop along with partners the Ministry of Social Development, Christchurch College of Education, University of Canterbury, and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT).

Monday kicks off the week with the Pasifika and English Speech Competition at Aranui High School from 7pm to promote Cook Islands, Fijian, Tongan and Samoan languages and culture. All secondary schools may enter one speaker for junior, and one speaker for the senior competitions.

Tuesday from 7am to 9.30am celebrates top Pacific achievers with the Emerging Pasifika Leaders Breakfast at the CPIT. Pasifika students who have shown leadership potential in their school community and their parents are  hosted and acknowledged.

Later on Tuesday at 4pm to 8pm, a Youth Fono will be held at the CPIT where the Ministry of Education Chief Executive, Howard Fancy, is talking to Pacific secondary students about what they consider are their future education priorities. What is working for them at school? How can their families, schools, communities, education providers and government agencies support them in their aspirations?

On Thursday from 8.30am to 3pm at the Christchurch Convention Centre the Spacifically Pacific I-Pacific Careers Expo and Workshops will feature various Pacific speakers who are already achieving in various industries and sectors to help raise Pasifika student expectations of what they can pursue as careers. It aims to broaden choices for their future.

Available at the expo are tables where various sectors will have on display vocations that can be pursued for careers. 

The icing on the cake will be the Pasifika Celebration Evening where Pacific cultural groups from various schools will perform, and the two top academic Pasifika students from Christchurch and their parents will be acknowledged during the evening.

One of the founders of the event, Fuetanoa Seinafo, the Ministry of Education Pasifika Regional Co-ordinator, Southern Region, says he is very pleased with how the event has grown over the years.

“Christchurch was where the Spacifically Pacific model was introduced to help encourage our Pasifika students to reach the pinnacle of their cultural, academic and career potential. Now it’s been adopted by other Pacific communities throughout the country.
“We’re seeing a lot of the young people who attended those first events starting to come through our tertiary institutions, so we are rapt that the various agencies are now looking to make this a permanent part of their calendars for us to deliver together. We can achieve a lot more together for our Pacific communities than we could ever deliver separately.”   

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