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Congratulations To Tana Umaga


The New Zealand Parent Teacher Association is thrilled that we now have an Education Ambassador.

Our organization which has been in operation for 54 years, has always had as one of its prime motivations the encouragement of parents to be fully involved in their children’s education – not just as the PTA fundraising group, but as people vitally involved in education.

We hope that we will be able to work with Tana to give an increasing emphasis on the advantages of being so involved. We are very pleased that someone like Tana, who is a parent of 3 children in different stages of their education, will be tackling this topic as he will have a clear overview of the education system.

In our newsletters last year, we quoted a great deal of research from both New Zealand and overseas which pointed to the importance of parental involvement which shows that children do better both academically and socially when the family/whanau is involved.

Our name includes ‘Teacher’ as that is another of our briefs – that we are here for support of our teachers. We acknowledge that the prime influence in the school is generated by excellent teaching and we support the efforts of NZEI (the primary teachers’ professional body) and the PPTA (the equivalent secondary teachers’ body) to improve the quality of teaching and we work with them on this. However, the level of achievement of children which teachers work with will be much enhanced by involved parents.

The Ministry of Education has launched a number of initiatives which require parent responses such as the ‘Schooling Strategy – Making a Bigger Difference for all Students’, the ‘Secondary Futures Initiative’, ‘Home-school Partnerships in Literacy’. The February issue of our magazine ‘Parent and School Today’ has highlighted these. Besides these, there are ongoing developments
- in Assessment – with emphasis on informing parents,
- in Numeracy
- in strategic planning and many others.

We urge Tana to be involved in encouraging parents to be thus involved and increase that involvement 100-fold.

We offer him our congratulations and look forward to working with him.

Diane O’Sullivan
New Zealand Parent Teacher Association
3rd February, 2005

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