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Call to action for Maori education

News from NZ Government
Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, Te Rūnanganui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, Ngā Kura ā Iwi, Te Akatea, and iwi representatives were given a call to action today when Education Minister Hekia Parata launched a strategy to future-proof Māori-medium education.

Educators and iwi gathered at a Hui in Wellington for discussions on Te Rāngai Kāhui Ako ā-Iwi, a framework provided to iwi to ensure the sustainability of Maori-medium education and build on the recent successes of Māori educational achievement.

“Overall, Māori in education are starting earlier, staying longer, and leaving better qualified. Te Rāngai Kāhui Ako ā-Iwi empowers iwi with clear data about the Māori-medium participation statistics within their rohe,” Ms Parata said.

“I want to see Māori-medium education build on its strengths, grow and thrive. To achieve this, we need to ensure that iwi, whānau, communities, peak bodies, education providers and the Ministry of Education collectively support learners to learn in high-quality, authentic Māori-medium education settings.

“It is crucial that children and young people have access to quality Māori medium education no matter where they live or at what stage of learning they are at.

“There have been clear calls to increase the learning and speaking of te reo Māori. Choosing a Māori-medium education pathway is an obvious and readily available way to do that.

“I commissioned Te Rāngai Kāhui Ako ā-Iwi framework to focus on how we can get sustainable Māori-medium education in every rohe, contextualised by the dialect, the tikanga, the kawa and the cultural narratives of the iwi of that rohe, from kohanga to kura to wānanga.

“Alongside this framework, iwi and Māori-medium bodies have been provided data on Māori educational achievement, broken down by rohe, which has improved exponentially. NCEA achievement by Māori students in Year 12 has gone from 56.8 percent in 2011, to 74.9 percent in 2016, that’s over 5000 more Māori than would have been the case with 2011 rates.

“More than that, the data shows us that the best results by Māori students have been achieved in Māori-medium education. Māori-medium students have rates of NCEA Level 2 achievement on par with all students in the school population, but significantly higher (15 to 20 percentage points) than Māori students in English-medium. The benefits of Māori medium education are most strongly realised when students remain in Māori medium for their entire compulsory education pathway (years 1 to 13).

“That is why our new Communities of Learning | Kahui Ako are so suited to Māori medium education as a sustainable Māori medium pathway from kohanga through kura and wharekura.

“It is so important that iwi are equipped with the tools to support young Māori to stay for longer in high quality kura, and to leave with good qualifications and a strong cultural capacity including te reo Māori.

“The unprecedented increase in Māori achievement should be celebrated. Ensuring this continues so all our mokopuna get the best education they can is a responsibility for us all. Whānau are in a prime position to ensure that we make this difference together, focusing on their achievement, their outcomes, and ultimately their future,” Ms Parata said.

Interested groups can source the Te Rāngai Kāhui Ako ā-Iwi framework by requesting a copy from tereo.maorigroup@education.govt.nz

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