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Helping Pave The Way To Incorporate Te Reo Māori In schools

Global Educational Resource Matific Is Helping Pave The Way To Incorporate Te Reo Māori In New Zealand Schools

Global educational software company, Matific, is preparing to lead the way for students in New Zealand to incorporate the national Te Reo Māori language into their maths curriculum via a translation of its online mathematical program.

Matific is an award-winning game-based learning resource that has been academically proven to help improve student test scores. It is designed to make maths fun and engaging for students in NE to Year 7, currently available in 46 countries, translated into 26 languages; soon to be 27 including Te Reo Māori.

Māori today accounts for almost 15% of the population in New Zealand, but the language has remained a minority language for over 130 years.

This new development by Matific is set to assist in normalising the use of Te Reo Māori in the classroom and encourage both Māori and non-Māori students to learn, speak and engage with the language; more widely at home, within the neighbourhood and wider community.

The Te Reo version has been translated by esteemed Lecturer from Auckland University of Technology, Hēmi Kelly, who sits within the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development.

Hēmi says, "The Māori translation of Matific has been an informative and humbling journey. This resource will allow students in Māori medium education the opportunity to engage in a tool to develop in mathematics and prepare them for their future and a future in STEM. My hope is that the Matific translation will be a prototype, which will lead to the Māori translation of other interactive resources that can be used in our kura. As a lecturer of the reo and an active member in te reo Māori revitalisation, I see this as a gateway to continue the revitalisation of the language and culture in the education system."

Matific is designed to not only reduce kids’ maths anxiety but also to improve maths results, ensuring their ability to master necessary topics; from addition and long division to fractions and primary level statistics. Students are required to do far more than answer mundane and abstract questions, they are invited to play, learn and understand maths concepts that they can enjoy, and solve problems that can apply to real life situations.

Matific matches the pedagogical shifts that most education departments are encouraging from their teachers and paves the way for children to engage in critical thinking.

Matific’s new translation of its program showcases an innovative and scalable way of how teaching and learning Te Reo could be achievable in all New Zealand schools. The company hope this will help to empower more students in an all-inclusive setting, including of course Māori students, to pursue STEM careers.

According to the IET, 203,000 people with STEM skills will be required each year to meet demand through to 2024, but its estimated there will be an annual shortfall of 59,000 engineering and technicians to fill these roles. Matific hope they can help this shortfall by inspiring as many children as possible to take a keen interest in maths from a young age, which will hopefully ignite a passion for them to pursue careers within the STEM sphere later on.

Charlene Macrae, Country Manager for Matific New Zealand says,We are now providing opportunities of a future-focused learning environment, which is already available to mainstream schools. Our program in Te Reo now means that Te Reo Māori learners are included.”

“STEM education is essential to New Zealand’s future prosperity. At Matific, we want to provide students with the tools they need to instil a love for maths and acknowledge the mana of Māori culture and values from a young age.”

The translation of the Matific program to Te Reo is more than just to revitalise the Māori language. We want to take responsible steps towards providing engaging mathematical content for the Te Reo Māori learning community.”

Matific recently held its annual Matific Games; a maths competition designed to introduce a fun and engaging challenge for primary school kids to enjoy and learn maths. Students from TKKM O Te Ara Rima, New Zealand, beat hundreds of thousands of other students across Australia and New Zealand, coming first place. The Matific Games is based around participation by students and teachers using the Matific education resource. During the competition, students answered over 10 million questions in just under two weeks.

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