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Benefits of charter schools for Pasifika kids questioned

Pasifika educators question benefits of charter schools for Pasifika kids

29 June 2014

Charter schools may put the quality of education Pasifika students receive at risk, participants at a Pasifika education fono warned this weekend.

More than 200 educators attending an NZEI Te Riu Roa fono in Auckland expressed concern about the Government's charter school policy. Concerns included the use of unqualified and unregistered teachers, the potential to put profit ahead of quality for children and the prospect of charter schools for children aged from 0-8 years old, Fono chairperson Efeso Collins said.

"In answer to the question, what will charter schools do for Pasifika kids, the consensus was 'not much'," Mr Collins said. "There was also concern that well-meaning community organisations might see charter schools as a way of accessing funding but that they would not have the capacity or skills to deliver high quality education."

He said Pasifika fono participants instead saw an urgent need for more Government investment in bi-lingual education and professional development for teachers.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said the message from the Fono was clear. "The policy makers need to listen, and listen hard. Pasifika are frustrated that they raise their voice to 'deaf ears'. What is wanted is action - that will be the proof that politicians are listening."


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