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Education Boost For Pacific Students

Plan to lift educational achievement among Pacific students

An action plan aimed at lifting educational achievement among New Zealand's 66,000 Pacific Island students has been launched in Auckland.

Education Minister Steve Maharey today launched an action plan aimed at lifting educational achievement among New Zealand's 66,000 Pacific Island students.

Speaking at the launch of the plan in Auckland, Steve Maharey said Pacific students today were critical to New Zealand's economic and social future.

"It is impossible to overstate the importance of our Pacific communities to New Zealand's future," Steve Maharey said. "Supporting our Pacific students to reach their full potential through our education system will be vital to new Zealand's economic and social progress in this century.

"Pacific people are the future face of Auckland, and an increasingly important part of our national identity. By 2020 Pacific people will make up eight percent of New Zealand's working age population with the largest number living and working in the Auckland region. It is essential that all Pacific people are able to achieve their full potential through our education system."

Steve Maharey said the government had made strong progress in Pacific education over the past six years but efforts needed to be intensified.

"The first Pacific education plan has contributed to increased participation in early childhood and tertiary education, a lift in literacy and numeracy achievement and more students leaving school with qualifications.

"To improve on these results we need to ensure children are staying at school until they are 16, that they develop a commitment to life long learning, and that they are equipped with the skills and attitudes to succeed in a 21st century economy.

"The plan sets out practical goals and targets, and brings together a range of initiatives to ensure the education system is focussed on being effective for all Pacific students. To strengthen work underway the government will invest an additional $4.8 million over the next four years, including funding to support literacy teaching, strengthen engagement with Pacific families and communities, develop resources to support teaching of Pacific languages and provide professional development for teachers.

"This is not something the education sector can do alone. We need parents and communities to be fully engaged in this plan, and we need employers to get alongside the work we're doing.

"It is vital that our education system is working to lift educational standards among Pacific students so they are able to make a full contribution to New Zealand's economic transformation.


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