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Budget to lift Maori educational achievement

Budget to lift MÄori educational achievement

Maori Affairs Minister and Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia announced today new spending of $4.4 million over four years for trial projects designed to help whanau support their children’s learning.

Parekura Horomia also announced new spending of $5.2 million over four years to improve the professional development of teachers in te reo Maori.

“These two specific Maori education investments are on top of other budget education initiatives which will also have a significantly positive effect on the education of our young people,” Parekura Horomia said.

“This Government is determined to lift educational achievement among Maori, as we want all New Zealanders to have the chance of reaching their full potential. We know that strengthening whanau and community involvement in education is essential for achieving improved educational outcomes for our Maori children,” Parekura Horomia said.

“That’s why we are investing an extra $4.4 million for the Ministry of Education to begin work on establishing trial projects at a local level, closely involving the community, to inform and develop policy on how to better engage whanau and parents in their children’s learning.”

The second initiative for professional development for teachers in te reo and tikanga Maori is aimed at increasing the quality of te reo used by teachers in mainstream schools.

“This Budget reflects the discussions with iwi and Maori about how improvements in education might happen. We have continued over the last year to go out to listen to iwi and Maori, and to discuss the ways ahead in education through the iwi education partnerships and the Hui Taumata Matauranga process,” Parekura Horomia said.

“In Budget 2003 there are significant opportunities for raising the quality of teaching and learning of Maori children at school age. We know that children can and do learn to at least the level they should when they have good teachers and support for learning from home. The realities of some people’s circumstances are not reasons to have low expectations about what they can achieve.

“The Budget also addresses the under-representation of Maori children in early childhood education,” Parekura Horomia said.

Education budget initiatives that will have significant benefits for Maori include:

* $7 million over the next four years for the development of effective literacy in all primary schools; * $8.6 million over four years has been provided to work on improving student engagement in learning at school age; * the introduction of a 1:20 teacher: student ratio for students learning in te reo Maori, bringing an extra 155 full time teacher equivalents to nationwide. This was recently announced as part of an extra $167 million to be spent nationally over four years to provide an extra 774 primary and secondary teachers nationwide, over and above those required for roll growth; * increasing the number of Maori early childhood education teacher scholarships, taking the total number to 95 scholarships every year, * provide $936,000 additional funding to establish license exempt groups in response to the areas where the Promoting Participation Project has identified gaps in provision. The Promoting Participation Project focuses specifically on Maori and Pasifika participation and the extra money will bring total funding in this area to $14.8 million; * increase the rates paid to licence-exempt and licensed and/or chartered early childhood services.

“We also want to see many more young Maori taking part in programmes like Modern Apprenticeships and Gateway. It was recently announced that an additional $38 million has been set aside over four years to expand these two programmes,” Parekura Horomia said.

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