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MIT Maori Education Head Targets School Students

MIT Maori Education Head Targets School Students

Maori representation in tertiary education is growing, but there is still a need to attract Maori students directly from secondary school, says Manukau Institute of Technology’s new head of Maori Education Wiremu Doherty.

Mr Doherty took up the role of matua kaiwhakahaere of MIT’s Te Tari Matauranga Maori this month (SUBS: August) and says MIT is working towards meeting the challenge to attract younger Maori students to tertiary education.

“There has been a slow increase in the number of Maori within mainstream tertiary institutions, however the increase is predominantly among adult students. We need to address the barriers which prevent Maori students coming to tertiary education directly from school.”

Mr Doherty, who was previously employed as principal at Te Kura Kaupapa o Hoani Waititi Marae, says that the major barrier facing many Maori secondary students when considering tertiary education is that they do not have the qualifications to meet entry requirements.

“Course content and classes at secondary schools are still largely mono-cultural and Maori students continue to disengage from learning and either become disruptive in class or play truant.

“We need to look at the aspirations of students and show them the pathway to take to reach their goals.

“At MIT there has been a move towards curriculum alignment and other initiatives are being undertaken to increase the participation of Maori students direct from secondary school. I’m looking forward to furthering these initiatives to improve the future for Maori.”

Mr Doherty has considerable experience in Maori education issues. He holds a Bachelor of Social Science, Diploma of Teaching and Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from The University of Waikato and is in his third year of a doctorate at The University of Auckland. His topic of study is continuing writing in the field of Kaupapa Maori Theory and Matauranga Maori.

MIT’s Te Tari Matauranga Maori offers a range of programmes that provide graduates with the opportunity to pursue careers in social services, business, teaching or the arts.

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