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Pacific Early Childhood Scholarships

Closing Educational Gaps – Pacific Early Childhood Scholarships

The Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Mark Gosche has welcomed new scholarships to encourage Pacific early childhood educators.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced yesterday that 40 Pacific scholarships would be offered each year to support students to undertake study to become registered early childhood teachers.

"The scholarships represent a real boost for the Pacific early childhod sector and Pacific children and I would like to encourage all interested scholars to apply," said Mr Gosche.

Last year 20% of Pacific 4-year-olds were missing out on early childhood education compared to just 2% of European children.

"Too many Pacific youngsters are missing out. Many of our children are disadvantaged from the very beginning of their school life. They arrive at school starting from scratch while many of their classmates have a head start because they already have been exposed to early childhood education."

"Early childhood education plays a vital role in helping to lay the foundations for the educational and social development of our children and our communities."

"I would like to encourage Pacific community members young and old to consider a teaching career."

Pacific communities in West Auckland and Porirua have already identified a strong desire to increase the numbers of trained Pacific early childhood teachers. The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs is working alongside eight communities nationwide to investigate ways to build the capacity of their members and to close the disparity gaps that exist between Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders.

"It's the first time any Government has offered teaching scholarships for the early childhood sector," said Mr Gosche.

"The scholarships recognises our Government's commitment to increase the number of Pacific youngsters participating in early childhood education."

Application forms and scholarships can be obtained by calling: 0800-832-246

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