May 15th 2008
For Immediate Use:
Resourcing Will Be Key To Success Of Ka Hikitia Strategy For Maori Students
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is looking forward to seeing better outcomes for Maori students through Ka Hikitia - Managing for Success, but has concerns over how it will be resourced.
The strategy was unveiled today by the Minister of Maori Affairs and Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia in Rotorua today.
It sets out priorities, goals, actions and outcomes for Maori students in both immersion and mainstream schools for the next five years. The aim is to push up Maori student achievement levels, ensure that a Maori student's culture is recognised and acknowledged by schools and centres, and for Maori students to contribute successfully to New Zealand and the world.
NZEI, which has a large Maori membership, says it is important that a strategy has finally been developed which places Maori students at the centre of learning. NZEI wants to see an education system in which teachers, parents, and students are passionate about Kaupapa Maori and one in which being Maori is celebrated.
It says Ka Hikitia will help address issues of inequity and challenge the education sector to assist Maori students to realise their potential.
NZEI spokesperson Fiona Matapo for Te Reo Areare, says "it's also an overarching strategy which doesn't just put the focus and responsibility for learning on teachers, principals and schools, but also on whanau, communities and a number of other agencies."
"But for progress to be made and the outcomes to become a reality the Ministry must provide a plan for resourcing and implementing the strategy," she says.
One of the goals of Ka Hikitia is to increase the numbers of quality Maori teachers proficient in te reo and tikanga Maori.
NZEI says this will highlight the issue of Maori teacher supply, which has sat below the surface for years, with no long term solution. There is a dire shortage of Maori teachers and NZEI argues that teacher education programmes must adapt to include core components of te reo Maori to increase fluency levels of student teachers. Among other solutions, it also says there needs to be more professional development for trained teachers in terms of learning and speaking te reo.
NZEI looks forward to working with the Education Ministry, agencies, whanau and communities in applying the objectives of Ka Hikitia and making it a success.