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Maori Tertiary Students Address Drop Out Rates

16 August 02

Maori Tertiary Students Address Drop Out Rates

Students from the Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association (ATSA) will gather for a hui next week to address the alarming issue of Maori tertiary student drop out rates. Research conducted by ATSA in 2001 shows that high drop out rates indicate that the education system is not meeting the needs of its students.

The Ministry of Education has published data showing that of all first year full-time Maori students enrolled in a bachelor degree in 1997, more than 40% were no longer enrolled at their original institutions by 1999. This was compared to only 25% of non-Maori students.

"The ownership of this problem lies with Government, institutions, iwi and individuals," said Julie Pettett, President of ATSA. "So do the solutions. It up to all of us to work together to ensure that New Zealand's tertiary education system caters for Maori students."

"We have a European based system that generally does not allow for different learning styles. It will be to the greater good of all students, not just Maori, if our education system can be adapted to cater for a range of learning needs," said Pettett. "Teaching is a waste of time if the lesson is not being learnt."

ATSA believes that the tertiary education system is currently failing to deliver to Maori students. "Recent initiatives prompted by Special Supplementary Grants have been a great step forward," said Pettett. "But this is an area that needs ongoing work. Maori students will gather at next week's hui to discuss what has and has not worked in the past and to come up with a range of practical solutions."

ENDS

For further comment, contact: Julie Pettett ATSA National President Cell phone 029 939 1417 or (04) 9391417

The Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association - Representing University, Polytechnic and Wananga students


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