Technical Correspondence Institute
New Zealand is a country characterised by small pockets of population strung out over a long distance. As a consequence the education system must be prepared to deal with a pattern involving small numbers of apprentices in any one place and, indeed, for some trades, in the country as a whole.
One of the agencies that has been developed for this purpose is the Technical Correspondence Institute which now has a full-time staff of 181 teachers. The school caters for a large number of apprentices and in June 1964 they accounted for 7,246 of the total roll of 10,760. To make provision for them, the school provides courses in almost all the apprentice trades and in some of them the tuition, together with block courses, is the only technical training available.
There is a wide variety of other courses, ranging from radio and television to horticulture and farming, and including courses on industrial and business management. Among the more unusual subjects in this range are surveying, textile manufactures of various kinds, aspects of coal-mining, and rural and urban valuation. In several of these subjects, the school offers the only tuition provided by the State system. Another function of the Technical Correspondence Institute is the production of textbooks. Most of the earlier books related to agricultural studies and particularly to New Zealand conditions. More recently, the institute has produced apprentice textbooks, the latest of these being Plumbing in New Zealand and Electricity for Motor Mechanics.