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Correspondence Partnership Programme With Maori

12 July 2002

The Correspondence School Te Kura-A-Tuhi To Launch Partnership Programme With Maori

New Zealand's biggest school - The Correspondence School Te Kura-a-Tuhi - is about to launch a progressive Maori partnership programme to provide enhanced education opportunities not just for its Maori students, but also its entire nationwide community of students and staff.

Of the school's 18,000 students, about 8,000 are Maori.

The programme will be launched by the Minister of Education, Hon. Trevor Mallard, at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt on 15 July.

Says The Correspondence School Chief Executive Officer, Rod Browning: "As New Zealand's only national school, and with the largest number of Maori students of any school in the country, we have a special responsibility to ensure that cultural and other support systems are in place for our Maori students.

"Indeed, we are required to do this in terms of the spirit and intent of the Treaty of Waitangi."

He said the programme would be far reaching, involving staff, students and their communities in a number of innovative initiatives.

"It will be about changing the way we work as a school. It will range from offering Te Reo classes, protocol and tikanga training to staff, through to establishing strategic alliances with other Maori education structures (like Kohanga Reo), the Ministry of Education and other relevant government agencies which interact with our Maori students.

"We want The Correspondence School Te Kura-a-Tuhi to be at the forefront of developing an integrated Maori partnership programme throughout the country and at all levels below tertiary education.

"We intend to provide enhanced education opportunities not just for our Maori students, but also for the advancement of all our students and their communities nationwide."

He said the new programme followed internal school consultation, and had the support of the school Board and teaching staff.

The Correspondence School could lead the way in developing Treaty partnership programmes in the education system.

"Just as The Correspondence School has shown the way with bi-cultural curricula in the early childhood area, so we hope others will follow this exciting Maori partnership initiative," Mr Browning said.

For 80 years The Correspondence School has provided distance education to its students throughout New Zealand at early childhood, primary and secondary school levels.

It also played an important role in preserving the Maori language, during the middle part of the 20th century, when it was one of the few schools offering the Maori language as a subject. Many of today's older Maori speakers studied through The Correspondence School.


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