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Official Country Name: Pitcairn
Region: Oceania
Population: 54
Language(s): English, Pitcairnese, Tahitian
Literacy Rate: NA

Pitcairn is located in the South Pacific. Discovered in 1767, Pitcairn is named after Major Pitcairn's son, who had first spotted the island. Populated with only 54 people of English and Polynesian background, the island's natives specialize in farming, fishing, and stamp production as their main source of income. Pitcairn is most widely known as a research site for National Geographic and for being the setting of Charles Nordhoff's classic Mutiny on the Bounty.

Due to the small population, most of the island's children attend schools in Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland begins educating students when they are four years old and continue through high-school age. Like the United States, Auckland offers many of the same academic opportunities, including math, science, and music. However, students usually attend schools in a four-term calendar fashion, which is unlike the two terms that many U.S. schools follow.

Seven people attend the one room schoolhouse located on the island, six of which are the children, and one teacher who has been sent from New Zealand. Attached to the schoolhouse lies the museum that contains examples of the island's flora and fauna that the students study. Most of the children study in this schoolhouse until they are 12 or 13, then they are sent to New Zealand for higher education.

There are many different higher education schools in Auckland such as high schools, colleges, and universities. Research done by research engineer, Lynn Salmon, who has traveled Pitcairn, found that once the students had left the island to study abroad they usually never returned. Higher education and better opportunity for Pitcairn's students lies in Auckland's medicine and education/teaching professions.

Although Pitcairn is very small, the future may hold high hopes. With the age of technology and more researchers interested in this island, the possibility for newer equipment is possible; hopefully, then, this island can provide a higher education program and more opportunities for its students.


Coney, S. "New Zealand's Students Struggle in Debt." The Lancet, 1996. Available from http://www.findarticles.com.

Salmon, L. "You Can't Get There From Here: Trip to the Pitcairn Islands." The Lancet, 1997. Available from http://www.thesalmons.org/lynn/pitcarin3.html.

—Deanna Edens

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