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Flavell: Maori Education - not achieved

Te Ururoa Flavell; Education Spokesperson for the Maori Party

Prime Minister’s Debate: Address and Reply

Thursday 15 February 2007

If we were to apply NCEA standards to the education system, the results would be as follows:

Unit Standard 756/3: Has demonstrated an ongoing ability to address the under-achievement of Maori students

Grade: Not achieved – no evidence

The 1960 Hunn Report revealed the failure of the Education Department to provide equal educational opportunity to Maori.

In 2006, the UN Special Rapporteur described the “underlying institutional and structural discrimination that Maori have long suffered”; recommending an urgent need for more resourcing in Maori education.

Unit Standard 978/2: Demonstrates an ability to provide robust analysis of Current Maori Educational Under – Achievement:

Grade : Achieved with Merit

Last year the 2005 ERO Annual report identified some 20% of students currently not succeeding in our education system.

 53% of Maori boys leave school with no qualifications, compared to 20% of Pakeha boys;

 School leaver qualification figures show that only 9% of the Maori boys who left school in 2005 had University Entrance;

 Only 47% of Māori school-leavers finish school with qualifications higher than NCEA Level One; compared to a massive 74% European; 87% Asian.

Such results are vividly demonstrated in recent league tables in which New Zealand earnt the second highest level of relative educational inequality across the entire OECD. The scoreboard is profoundly affected by socio-economic status and ethnicity.

Here’s another one:

Unit Standard 478/2: Demonstrates an ability to engage all students fully in the Education System

Grade: not achieved with merit.

Today, the UNICEF report revealed that we are the lowest ranked out of 25 OECD countries for actually having kids in school between 15 and 19 years old.

The 2006 report on truancy highlights that truancy rates have climbed since 2004 - the truancy rate for Maori is now double that of Asian and European rates.

One more:

Unit Standard 945/2: Has shown willingness to be responsive to Maori demand for education by acting on negative statistics to address Maori under-achievement

Grade: Not achieved.

The quest to learn for many Maori children is being stifled by an arbitrary close-off policy designed to keep the cap on numbers of kura kaupapa Maori.

The door is also slammed shut for kohanga reo. Twenty hours free early childhood education does not extend to kohanga reo we are told because despite the fact that the whakapakari training package has been approved as a recognized NZQA qualification, that qualification is not recognizes for the twenty hours free early childhood policy.

Yet evaluations of Maori-medium education prove that outcomes in community and whanau engagement are optimistic.

Achievement outcomes are also positive. In 2005, Maori students in year 11 attending schools in which the medium was Maori, had a higher rate of attaining NCEA than Maori in other schools.

Mr Speaker, as my colleague Tariana Turia referred to earlier in her speech, the strategy is one of containment, a long-term social experiment. Well, the guinea pig is not an indigenous species to this land; and we will no longer accept being the subject for someone else’s gain.

If we were to truly be responsive, why, when the Education Amendment Bill came through this House, did the Maori Members of Labour not speak out about the changes that would impact on Te Runanganui o nga kura kaupapa Maori?

Overall Assessment

Grade: Not Achieved

There are strategies; there are excellent exemplars and mentors that can make a difference – the challenge for the Government is to step up to the mark.

There is also a raft of pilot programmes which do not succeed.

The Maori Party believes that for our future to be bright, we must develop and advance kaupapa Maori educational options.

If it is that then state is unable to react with answers that have long been discussed by Maori educators and whanau; then perhaps it is time for the state to admit defeat.

There is the willingness, there is a vested interest in ensuring that the outcomes are far better than what this report card would ever achieve.

Kei roto i nga ringaringa a te ao Maori te hiahia te kaha, ki te tae atu te Ao Maori, ki nga taumata o te Matauranga.

Whakahokia te mana ki te Ao Maori.


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