Kiribati’s Catholic Education Office (CEO) manages five secondary schools across three island groups – Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, and Phoenix Islands covering 6436 square kilometres of water and land. Most of the land on these islands is based on atolls less than two metres above sea level. Understandably, the I-Kiribati people have great skills for fishing and so depend largely on the ocean for their subsistence. Unfortunately however, what was a sustainable way of life is being impacted by the unsustainable lifestyles of the “developed” world.
As the threat of becoming climate refugees appears to be more and more likely, it has never been more crucial for young people to receive a good quality education that prepares them for the changes they are likely to face.
How We’re Helping
Throughout a long relationship with the people of Kiribati, Palms Australia has prepared many very effective volunteers in various fields. As a result, the schools have been able to develop so many more confident and capable local teachers and leaders.
In 2019, Palms Australia is continuing this work by placing experienced primary teacher Bridget Kennelly to increase local access to quality education with Immaculate Heart College, Taborio. Bridget will work closely with local teachers and students to provide:
- Professional development workshops to assist curriculum development, lesson preparation and classroom teaching;
- Activities and lessons that interest and engage each student in a style appropriate to their gifts and needs;
- Students and teachers with the foundations to assist their resettlement in a new country in the event that climate change impacts are not averted.
Is the Project Sustainable?
Building capacity in the country’s education system, as well as improving the education and English skills of students, will help to create opportunities that the I-Kiribati people need to sustain their lives in the future, particularly in the face of climate change.