15 May 2017

Cook Islands education resource burning 'a mistake'

10:57 am on 15 May 2017

The dumping and burning of vast quantities of education resources was due to an "incredibly unfortunate" mistake, the Cook Islands education ministry says.

School books and a chalkboard

Photo: 123 RF

Last week, boxes including exercise books, donated reading books, chalk, furniture and other materials were loaded into a truck and driven along to be dumped and set alight.

The head of the education ministry, Gail Townsend, said the materials were being stored in a container at an old school.

Last week, as staff were clearing out the grounds, they were asked to also load the resources in the container onto a truck to be forwarded to other schools.

Ms Townsend said there were two trucks: a ministry truck for the re-usable material, and a contractor's truck for the stuff to be thrown out.

She said there had obviously been a mix-up, because valuable resources that could still be used have now been destroyed.

It's not known how much material has been lost, or what its replacement cost will be.