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Pasifika education leaders focus on tackling inequality

Pasifika education leaders focus on tackling inequality

26 June 2014

Tackling inequality will be a key focus of a two day fono in Auckland later this week where Pasifika education leaders will be looking at how recent Government education policies are likely to impact on Pasifika children.

At least 250 education leaders are taking part in the two day Leo Pasifika fono organised by NZEI Te Riu Roa.

National President Judith Nowotarski says inequality in education is a major concern in the Pasifika community and the leaders at the conference will be taking the opportunity to strengthen and raise their collective voice in this current education environment.

“It is vital that Pasifika children get fair and equitable access to culturally appropriate quality public education.

“We’ll be looking particularly at the challenges that face Pasifika children and their families and the government’s controversial $359-m Investing in Educational Success will be put under the spotlight.

“We have seen some real successes in Pasifika education and in innovative and relevant leadership, particularly in the early childhood sector."

But Ms Nowotarski says there is a real risk that the government’s drive towards competition, standardisation and data-driven accountability will have a negative impact on education for Pasifika kids.

Participants will take part in workshops focussing on connections and cultural intelligence, engaging with parent communities and growing Pasifika leaders.

Keynote speakers include Strategic Planning Adviser for the Tokelau Government, Lili Tuioti and Prof Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa from Auckland University.

Ms Tuioti has had extensive experience in the education sectors in New Zealand and more recently in the Pacific Islands. Dr Salesa is a former Rhodes Scholar and currently professor at Auckland University’s Centre for Pacific Studies. He has written a number of books on the history of the Pacific and British and US empires.

The fono is being held at the Crowne Plaza in Auckland, 27-28 June.

ENDS

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