The relations between New Caledonia and New Zealand are linked within the general relations between France and New Zealand. But, because of the historical and geographical proximity of New Caledonia and New Zealand, and the growing integration of New Caledonia in the region, opportunities for shared educational opportunities between our two countries have become more frequent and more important.
Joint efforts between our two countries involve not only the twinning of schools but also interaction between educational institutions such as the Ministry of Education of New Zealand and some of its agencies, the French Embassy in Wellington, the University and the Vice Rectorat of New Caledonia and the Cooperative Regional Services of the New Caledonian Government. With their support, cultural and scientific establishments are also able to share in joint projects.
In these neighbouring archipelagos, the first settlements of the Australonesian people and their descendants, Kanak here and Maori there, were followed by the first contacts between Europeans and Oceanians, voyages of exploration, and the experiences of both French and English colonisation in the South Seas. The populations of these two archipelagos fought as allies during the two world wars of the 20th century.
These links are enhanced today by economic exchanges (imports, exports, tourism), scientific and cultural projects, sports competitions, environmental and military cooperation.
They have also been developed by regional cooperation within education.
In addition, the desire of government, provincial bodies and city councils of New Caledonia to link in twinning projects between communities (such as between Noumea and Taupo) reinforces these links
More than half of New Caledonian educational international activities take place with New Zealand partners, mainly from the North Island, and most of them in the form of close partnerships between schools.
There are several explanations for this.
Two specific cooperative actions take place every year between the two countries. New Zealand students fly to New Caledonia as assistants to local English language teachers to share their language skills and their cultural backgrounds and New Zealand French language teachers visit for professional training with the University and the Vice-Rectorate (TPDL programme). They undertake theory and cultural classes and practice observation learning in French classes of New Caledonian high schools.
New directions are on the way. One which began this year and will develop in 2013 involves individual pupils moving between sister schools for short term stays with families and class attendance. It is expected that teachers and principals also could undertake short term stays to observe their partner schools.
Mise à jour : 13 mars 2014
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