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A Better Education Deal for Pacific Peoples

28 June 2000 Media Statement

A Better Education Deal for Pacific Peoples

The stronger Government focus on early childhood needs would lay a better foundation for Pacific peoples to get a better education, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said this evening.

Trevor Mallard issued details of Budget initiatives at a fono for Pacific educationalists in Christchurch.

The Budget included an extra $13.274 million in Pacific specific initiatives in education over the next four years.

 $7.25 million for an increase in the Pacific pool of the discretionary grants scheme;
 $340,000 for licensing support for early childhood education services;
 $3.584 million for Pacific teacher supply initiatives;
 $2 million for Pacific language materials;
 $100,000 for research into barriers of Pacific participation in tertiary education.

“This in addition to initiatives such as the development of equity funding in early childhood education, homework centres; resources for students at risk, training for boards of trustees, tertiary equity funding and so forth that will clearly benefit Pacific children,” he said.

“The early foundation for learning has to be right, and that is why there is a focus on providing Pacific families with better access to early childhood services.

“The increase for the Pacific pool of the Discretionary Grants Scheme will create around 1,800 more places in licensed Pacific early childhood care and education centres.

“There is also more support and advice to groups to help them meet the requirements of the early childhood regulations.

“The Government is deeply concerned about young people, especially Maori and Pacific students and children from families in tough financial situations, who are missing out on education.

“We are determined to close the gaps in educational achievement and life outcomes between disadvantaged groups and mainstream New Zealanders.

“Education is now making real inroads towards helping young Pacific families to participate in education, and towards continuing that involvement into the early primary school years and beyond. Many families have not been able to attend their local Pacific early childhood education service, or even know where to go for more information about services in their local area."

Trevor Mallard said about 63 Pacific early childhood services were now licensed and chartered, and he expects to see a lot more of them licensed in the next four years.


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