Tiarama Adventist College

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Tiarama Adventist College
French Polynesia
School type Private, Co-educational, Day school
Denomination Seventh-day Adventist
Established 1979
Area trustee Eglise Adventiste Du Septieme Jour, Mission De La Polynesie Francaise
Chairperson Marama Tuariihionoa
Principal Georges Deligny
Teaching staff 22
Gender Mixed
Enrolment 118
Accreditation Adventist Accrediting Association [1]

Tiarama Adventist College is a coeducational Christian secondary school in Papeete, Tahiti, established in 1979.

Christian usually refers to:

Papeete Capital city of French Polynesia

Papeete is the capital city of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The commune of Papeete is located on the island of Tahiti, in the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands, of which Papeete is the administrative capital. The French High Commissioner also resides in Papeete. It is the primary center of Tahitian and French Polynesian public and private governmental, commercial, industrial and financial services, the hub of French Polynesian tourism and a commonly used port of call. The Windward Islands are themselves part of the Society Islands.

Tahiti island in the Southern Pacific Ocean

Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia. The island is located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the central Southern Pacific Ocean, and is divided into two parts: the bigger, northwestern part, Tahiti Nui, and the smaller, southeastern part, Tahiti Iti. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs. The population is 189,517 inhabitants, making it the most populous island of French Polynesia and accounting for 68.7% of its total population.



Early Beginnings in French Polynesia

The first Adventist missionaries to Tahiti were the Gates, Read, and Tay families, who arrived on the missionary boat, Pitcairn, on 25 December 1890. They and their successors for nearly fifty years were English-speaking. [2]

Missionary member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism

A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to proselytize or perform ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem, meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send". The word was used in light of its biblical usage; in the Latin translation of the Bible, Christ uses the word when sending the disciples to preach The gospel in his name. The term is most commonly used for Christian missions, but can be used for any creed or ideology.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. Named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that would later take their name, England, both names ultimately deriving from the Anglia peninsula in the Baltic Sea. It is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent Latin and French.

Paul Deane, a Protestant pastor, and his wife were the first converts. They were baptised in 1893 and in the following year they went to the island of Raiatea, 180 km north-west of Tahiti, to assist Benjamin J Cady (from USA), who was the first President. [2] As Mr Deane was of French nationality and could speak both French and Tahitian, he received a permit from the French government to open the first Adventist school. It is not known how many students attended this school, but it did not last long.

Baptism Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water

Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. The synoptic gospels recount that John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Baptism is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. Baptism is also called christening, although some reserve the word "christening" for the baptism of infants. It has also given its name to the Baptist churches and denominations.

Raiatea island in French Polynesia

Ra'iātea, is the second largest of the Society Islands, after Tahiti, in French Polynesia. The island is widely regarded as the 'centre' of the eastern islands in ancient Polynesia and it is likely that the organised migrations to Hawai'i, New Zealand and other parts of East Polynesia started at Ra'iātea.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

The School in Tahiti

From 1947 on, the pastors who came to French Polynesia were French-speaking. On 2 April 1960, when Pastor Ernest Veuthy was President, Pastor and Mrs Marcel Bornert opened the second French Polynesian school in Papeete, with an enrolment of 42 pupils. [2]

French Polynesia French overseas country in the Southern Pacific ocean

French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic and the only overseas country of France. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) in the South Pacific Ocean. Its total land area is 4,167 square kilometres (1,609 sq mi).

For many years, as the enrolment grew, this school struggled to obtain teachers. The only way to recruit new Adventist teachers was to send trainees to the college (now Saleve Adventist University) at Collonges-sous-Salève in France. The cost to students of this solution was almost prohibitive because of the distance (20,000 km), [2] the length of the course (three or four years), and the cost of school fees. Understandably there was no rush of applicants.

Collonges-sous-Salève Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Collonges-sous-Salève is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It is located very close to Geneva, Switzerland. Its population is about 3000 (1998). The name of Collonges designates a colony of farmers situated on land granted, along with certain liberties, by the land owner. The town dates from the fourth or fifth century. The modern commune has its roots in the Ancien Régime, arising out of a parish whose existence is recorded from the twelfth century.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

The next solution was to call for Adventist principals and teachers from France. Thus from 1964 to 1975 teachers such as Mrs Andrée Jérôme, Mr Marcel Fernandez, Mr Daniel Schmidt, Mr Christian Sanchez, and Mr Roland Vurpillot responded to such calls. The weaknesses of this system were the high cost to the Mission budget [2] and the problem of changing staff every two years.

Teacher person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values

A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values.

Budget balance sheet or statement of estimated receipts and expenditures

A budget is a financial plan for a defined period, often one year. It may also include planned sales volumes and revenues, resource quantities, costs and expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flows. Companies, governments, families and other organizations use it to express strategic plans of activities or events in measurable terms.

Government Assistance

Church leaders began to ask why they couldn’t ask the government for financial assistance. Back in 1789, during the French Revolution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen had been promulgated, and church and state had been separated. However, as time passed the French State began to recognise that churches which operated schools were contributing to the development of the state by preparing trained citizens to hold responsibilities and contribute to national production. Thus in 1959 the French National Education Ministry issued the Loi Debré which allowed private schools, both Catholic and Protestant, to apply for financial appropriations. [2]

In September 1974 Pastor Jean Surel, Mission President, and Roland Vurpillot, the principal at that time, studied the question of accepting financial help from the government and the attached conditions. As a result, an agreement called Contrat simple was signed by the State, the Local Government, and the Mission. [2]

In September 1993 this arrangement was superseded by the Contrat d’association. [2] The essential features of this contract are:

1 Teachers must have the Brevet élémentaire or the Baccalauréat. (The first year of university examination taken by high school students. Two years university study leads to the obtaining of a Licence which corresponds to a BA in the English system).
2 A new teacher can be recognised after a year of probation and sits a final examination after three years of training
3 Teachers in private and public schools are treated on the same level.
4 The State pays the teacher’s salary, whether qualified or not.
5 The State inspects the teacher in his/her class once he/she is qualified.
6 The private school is to follow the same curriculum as the public school.
7 There is a special appropriation for school stationery.
8 The Mission is responsible for the maintenance of the school building.

This new contract solved the school’s financial problems, facilitated the upgrading of teachers’ qualifications and raised the school’s academic level. It made it possible for a public school teacher to come and serve in the Adventist school. [2]

In September 1975, the school already had six classes totalling 120 pupils from six to fifteen years of age. The mission had recently held a church session which voted two projects during the next five years: an Adventist college for secondary students and the extension downwards of the primary school to include the École Maternelle or infant school catering for children aged three, four, and five. [2] The latter project took two years and a half. It took time for members and administrators to accept the value of such a project, and some of them remembered statements from early church documents known as the Spirit of Prophecy writings which discouraged parents from sending their children to school before the age of six. But eventually they came to realise that times had changed and their thinking must change also. [2]

On 16 February 1978 the new building opened, incorporating the elementary section (6 to 10 years) and the maternelle (3 to 5 years). At the opening Pastor Lazare Doom, the first local Mission President, named the school the Tiarama School. The name ‘tiarama’ means ‘lamp’ or ‘light’ in Tahitian. [2]

Pic Vert College

The old school building was not destroyed. It became the first home of a new Adventist college, or secondary school, while a search for a more suitable site continued. In August 1979 Dr Jean Reynaud, previously from Avondale College in Australia, was privileged to start the first secondary class, and a new class was added each year until there were four. [2]

In August 1983 the college moved to its new location and became Collège du Pic Vert, with 110 students. It was situated above the valley of Tipaerui, a suburb of Papeete, on a hill called Pic Vert at some 460m above sea level, and only a drive of 15 minutes from the centre of Papeete. [2]

After Dr Reynaud’s departure in 1987 he was succeeded in turn by Dr Jean Michel Martin, Mrs Delargilière, Dettory Campus, and Imbert Jacques, [2] all who came from France.

Unfortunately, enrolment dropped each year after 1983, until in 1990 it was proposed to close the college. [2] Only with government help could the school be kept open. It took four years to get government agreement for all four classes. Even with that help, the enrolments dropped steadily, until in 2000 the school opened with only 69 students. [2] The decline was attributed partly to the isolation of the school, and the resulting transport problems, including the steep, winding road up the mountain. Accordingly in 2001 the college moved back down to the urban area of Papeete, to share the site with the elementary school. [2] It was renamed Collège Tiarama, and since then it has experienced steady growth. Pastor Charles Atger, a Tahitian, is now in charge.

See also

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  1. "Adventist Yearbook". General Conference Office of Statistics & Archives. Retrieved 2009-07-19
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Mavina Haumani. "History of the Tiarama Schools — Adventist education on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia" (PDF). South Pacific Division. Retrieved 2010-04-25.