Shared educational activities in New Caledonia and New Zealand - Vice-rectorat de la Nouvelle-Calédonie

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Les relations avec les pays de la région

Shared educational activities in New Caledonia and New Zealand

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.

Historical and future links between New Zealand and New Caledonia

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.

  • French is the first foreign language taught in New Zealand schools (optional) and English is the first foreign language taught in New Caledonian schools (mandatory) ;
  • in New Caledonia, cross-curricular and linguistic projects are set throughout the school years. International activities from primary school through to the senior high years include overseas stays with schools and families. Projects cover a large range of disciplines such as sports, history, science, arts and culture … supported by the use of language skills ;
  • New Zealand schools organize cultural and linguistic stays in New Caledonia in partnership with New Caledonian schools or with the CREIPAC center specializing in French language training. Sometimes exchanges will be specific to other activities such as sports ;
  • a special link has developed between our two countries through vocational training courses, as students in vocational high schools or tertiary level studies often require international experience to enhance their skills and curriculum vitae. Such courses might include hospitality and trade, but also mechanics and engineering.

Waimea intermediate attending a cultural event at Tjibaou Cultural Center
Rivière Salée giving a circus show in Nelson
Bourail High School students learning a Haka dance from their penpals in Rotorua

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.

Some actions illustrate this educational dynamic

  • Contribution of a pupil rugby team from Jules Garnier High School in Noumea to the « Jeunes rugby reporters » organized by the French schools in the world’s net (AEFE) in Wellington in 2011.
  • Contribution of a student team from Scots College in Wellington to the First Pacific Science Fair held in Nouméa in 2012.
  • Cross-curricular and linguistic activity in circus arts at Rivière Salée high school in Noumea in partnership with Waimea Intermediate School in Nelson.
  • Cross-curricular and linguistic activity in art déco at Sainte-Marie High School in Païta in Napier, including an exchange with New Horizon College of English.
  • Three school trip by year 9 pupils of Louis-Léopold Djiet High School in Bourail, in partnership with Rotorua Girls High School and Kaitao Middle School.
  • First official twinning arrangement between Jean Mariotti High School in Noumea and Taupo Intermediate School, in conjunction with the city twinning of Taupo and Nouméa.
  • Traditional exchanges between Canala High School and Mangere College in Auckland ; Georges Baudoux High School in Noumea with both Botany Downs and Saint Kentigern in Auckland ; Normandie High school and Tauhara College in Taupo and Napier Girls High School ; Magenta high school and Taupo Tia a ora High school ; Koutio High School with Royal Oak in Auckland …
  • Vocational training for Auguste Escoffier’s and Laperouse’s High Schools students in Taupo.

Mise à jour : 13 mars 2014

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