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Te Reo Maori Resourcing In Education

Maori Affairs and Associate Education Minister, Parekura Horomia says improved consultation between the education sector and Maori communities has borne fruit, but more can be done to ensure effective targeting of te Reo Maori resourcing.

Mr Horomia made the comments when he launched Te Puni Kokiri’s audit report in “Maori language resourcing” at the opening of a new administration block at Omahu Bilingual School in Hawkes Bay today.

The report showed approximately $21 million is available for Maori language resourcing in schools each year - $7 million for the development of books and other resources, while $13.8 million went directly to schools.

Mr Horomia said there is genuine goodwill and understanding in the community, as well as an increasing demand to learn Maori language.

“Results from the latest Maori language survey showed that more young people are speaking and using te reo Maori. Also, young women are likely to be proficient speakers te reo Maori well.

“There are now over 22,000 school students receiving parts of their education in te reo Mäori, and that number will continue to grow. Teachers must have both the skills and resources to ensure our young people are provided with the best education possible.”

Mr Horomia said the answer is not necessarily more money, but better use of the money and resources that is already being spent in this area.

“The range and quality of Maori language resources in schools have improved in the past decade including the development of on-line resources and levelled readers for junior classes. But ongoing work is needed to match resources to the needs of students, teachers and their communities.”

The Ministry of Education will report back on developments in the New Year.


Recommendations

Resources produced for schools

- The Ministry of Education institute a systematic process for incorporating teachers’ and students’ needs, ideas and feedback into the development of resources;

- The Ministry of Education set aside funding to encourage new ideas;

- Curriculum statements be reviewed to ensure they meet the needs of all Mäori language teachers and learners;

- Curriculum statements in Mäori be supported with English-language translations;

- All resources be clearly graded and catalogued, so teachers know what is available and where it fits into curricula;

- The Ministry make more use of the internet as a cost-effective way of delivering resources, particularly to small areas or groups which have specific needs; and

- The Ministry review its professional development programmes so that they more closely match the release of new resources and the training needs of bilingual teachers.

Funding to schools for immersion teaching

- Schools be required to account annually to their communities on the use of funding for Mäori language teaching and learning; and

- Schools claiming funding for students at particular levels of immersion be monitored regularly to ensure that they are teaching at the immersion level claimed.

Questions and answers

Why was the audit on Mäori language resourcing commissioned?
The audit originated from concerns raised by the Education Review Office and Mäori language teachers about the adequacy of existing Mäori language learning and teaching resources - and the ability of those resources to support the Mäori language curriculum.

What were the objectives of the audit?
There were two objectives. The first objective was to examine the extent to which the two funding streams support Mäori language learning. The second objective was to assess the effectiveness of the Ministry’s support for Mäori language education.

Who was involved in the audit?
The audit limited its focus to schools offering Level 1 and 2 immersion programmes.

Mäori language teachers in 40 schools were interviewed. This represents 12% of those offering Level 1 and/or 2 immersion education.

In addition, questionnaires were sent to 316 schools offering Level 1 or 2 immersion – with 249 teachers returning the questionnaire.

The audit team reviewed documents from the Ministry of Education and the Education Review Office. The Ministry of Education provided further information and dialogue throughout the audit process.

What were the major conclusions from the audit?

Resources produced for schools

1. The quality and quantity of Mäori language resource materials has improved greatly in the last decade, but value for money will only be achieved if material is well matched to teachers’ and students’ needs.
2. The Ministry of Education is consulting more with classroom teachers when developing resources, but the process needs to be more comprehensive and systematic.
3. Good quality, and timely, professional development is necessary for teachers to get maximum benefit from resource materials
4. Some schools use the Internet effectively to share resources, but its potential hasn’t yet been fully recognised for delivering Mäori language support.

Funding to schools for immersion teaching

1. Most schools use the funding generated by Mäori language immersion students as it is intended - to support Mäori language learning.
2. Greater accountability to the school’s community would provide more assurance.
3. Delivering the $13.8 million targeted funding through the operations grant is a relatively efficient way of supporting immersion teaching and learning. However, more monitoring of this funding is recommended

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