In 2022 Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (The Correspondence School) marks its 100th anniversary. This stamp issue pays homage to the early decades of Te Kura, a time when lesson delivery was closely affiliated with NZ Post.
In 1922, Miss Janet MacKenzie arrived at the Department of Education in Wellington to start work as the first teacher of a new education endeavour – a ‘correspondence scheme’. She was allocated a small office on the second floor of Government Buildings. The role rapidly jumped from the estimated 25 primary-aged students to 347 by the end of the first year. Everything was handwritten and sent by post.
Today more than 24,000 students are enrolled each year. Students of all ages, from early childhood to adult learners, study a vast array of topics, and lessons are now delivered instantly via the internet.Over the past 100 years, the school has undergone a remarkable transformation. Even its name has changed. But the profound mission of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu has not deviated since 1922 – to provide education to tamariki and rangatahi who otherwise would miss out on the chance not just for an education, but the opportunity to transform their lives.
Janet MacKenzie would surely have been delighted to know that the school for which she built such strong foundations would endure, and remain just as relevant as ever, 100 years later.
Date of issue: 1 June 2022