The Kiribati Institute of Technology is a technical and vocational education and training institute that supports I-Kiribati, the people of Kiribati, to upgrade their skills and advance their career prospects.
Spotlight on the Kiribati Institute of Technology – supporting education and employment in Kiribati
19 July 2017
Kiribati (pronounced kiribas) is made up of 33 atolls across about 3.5 million square kilometres in the Pacific Ocean. 21 atolls are inhabited by approximately 114,000 people, with half that population living around the capital in South Tarawa.
Most of Kiribati’s atolls are less than two metres above sea level and vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Remoteness, limited economic opportunity and rising urban migration to South Tarawa are key challenges that also impact health and education outcomes.
Australia and Kiribati enjoy close relations based on regional and international cooperation and trade links. As Kiribati’s largest bilateral donor, Australia supports Kiribati to improve its economic prospects and environmental resilience, and achieve better education and health outcomes.
The Australian Government supports the Kiribati Institute of Technology through the Skills for Employment Program and the overarching Kiribati Facility, managed by Scope Global.
The Kiribati Institute of Technology is a key technical and vocational education institute, with two campuses in Tarawa. Each year it supports approximately 300 students to enhance their skills in fields such as business, trades, IT, English, nursing and accounting. The courses are taught to Pacific and Australian standards.
The campuses are vibrant places. Students come to learn, socialise and prepare for employment.
New facilities have been custom-built at the Betio campus to facilitate adult learning.
All lessons are taught in English. English language skills are a valuable asset for I-Kiribati, who face the real possibility of living and working internationally in the future as Kiribati is vulnerable to climate change.
Many courses also include core units of English, IT and work health and safety to ensure students are equipped for work.
The Kiribati Institute of Technology offers long and short courses in a range of trades.
Here first year construction students are learning how to make basic wooden joints under the guidance of lead instructor, Iaotite. During their two year course, students will progress from building a model house to a kia kia (traditional hut), and finally to renovating a house owned by the Kiribati Housing Corporation.
Electrotechnology and plumbing are also taught at the Kiribati Institute of Technology. Lecturers guide students through theoretical and practical activities, like connecting powerpoint switches.
Second-year construction, electrotechnology and plumbing students put their new skills to work and renovate a house owned by the Kiribati Housing Corporation.
Construction students build internal walls, fortify windows, tile and build kitchen cabinets. Electrotechnology students do all the wiring and install powerpoints and fans. Plumbing students plumb the kitchen and bathroom.
Automotive students learn all about servicing vehicles and are responsible for maintaining the campus cars and buses.
About two years ago, the road through South Tarawa was converted from coral to bitumen. Now more people than ever have cars, which means there’s a growing demand for qualified automotive mechanics.
Nursing and midwifery students are based at the Bikenibeu campus, which recently became a part of the Kiribati Institute of Technology.
These third year nursing students were preparing to go on their final two-month practicum to Kiribati’s outer islands.
Micronesia Magic simulates a real business. Certificate II in Business students gain practical skills in working in a business environment, with a focus on customer service and English language skills.
Students transition through different work roles such as reception, accounts, record keeping, work health and safety, and sales and marketing.
Linking graduates and I-Kiribati to employment is a key aim of Skills for Employment, and the institute’s Employment Support Service assists graduates to search for jobs, prepare their applications and practice for interviews.
It also supports I-Kiribati to prepare for overseas employment opportunities that are typically organised through the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development.
The Business Incubator employs Kiribati Institute of Technology and Australian Pacific Technical College graduates and works as a functioning business – tendering for work and then coordinating all aspects of successful projects.
The Business Incubator is frequently a pathway to further career opportunities.
Here the team is planning to construct a new multi-court at the Betio campus.
The campuses are much more than just places for learning.
They bring students and staff together to socialise, weave traditional culture into campus life, and provide practical opportunities to learn, grow and take active steps toward the future.