The Project

Immaculate Heart College (IHC) is a boarding school on the island of Taborio, North Tarawa in Kiribati. The College enables students on the outer island to receive an education within their local community, and also provides opportunity for students from more remote islands to attend rather than relocate to the main densely populated urban island of South Tarawa.  IHC fulfils a critical need for secondary education in the outer islands of Kiribati.

The Location

Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an independent island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is over 119,000 (2020), more than half of whom live on South Tarawa atoll. The state comprises 32 atolls and one raised coral island, Banaba. They have a total land area of 811 square kilometres (313 square miles) and are dispersed over 3.5 million km2.

IHC is located on Taborio an atoll settlement of North Tarawa, situated on three and a half hectares of land surrounded by sea on all sides or reef-mud at low tide except where it is joined onto Nootoue village on its southern end.  Settlements on North Tarawa include Buariki, Abaokoro and Marenanuka.

North Tarawa has a population of approximately 6,629.

The Challenge

Remote areas of Kiribati suffer from a critical shortage of teachers, as well as an education system based on European understandings of education, especially in Maths.   It is suggested that the teaching of Maths should adopt a more multicultural approach that fits with western and indigenous thinking. Teaching European mathematical concepts in a multicultural way!  More emphasis given to the visual rather than symbolic argument of proof.  More emphasis be given to oral/aural rather than writing/reading approaches and how these might be grouped rather than individually focussed.

About You

IHC has requested a:

  • Qualified secondary Maths teacher.
  • Previous experience teaching Maths in a cross cultural context is desirable,
  • Experience mentoring teachers or other adults will be beneficial.
  • Ability to incorporate cultural elements in your teaching and use of culture-sensitive pedagogies
  • An enthusiasm for working in a different culture and with limited resources is essential.
  • Personal attributes that will be vital include flexibility, patience and a sense of humour.

How You Will Help

The Palms participant will:

  • Support and provide informal/indirect mentoring of staff at Immaculate Heart College in effective, culturally appropriate lesson preparation and presentation; culturally sensitive student engagement/motivation and classroom management
  • Teach Maths to senior students
  • Through working alongside I-Kiribati teachers and students of IHC, the Palms participant will contribute to improved educational access and opportunity in a rural, remote island of Kiribati.


Note: The monthly living allowance enables you to live a modest local lifestyle. Based on the cost of living in a particular country, it covers food, your daily commute, communication and other local costs. It is not set to enable you to meet financial commitments at home, such as a mortgage or a personal loan.  It will not cover the costs of eating out and other entertainment. Read more about what is covered in our FAQ.

To find out more or to apply, please contact Christine O’Halloran, Programs & Placement Coordinator on 02 9560 5333 or at [email protected].

Think you have what it takes? Register your interest

    I am not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand.I am a citizen of Australia or New Zealand.
    * Successful applicants must be available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and will not sponsor visas to attend this course. Read our FAQ for more.