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EDUCATION: $20m to help Maori in high school

MEDIA RELEASE

Hon Dr Pita Sharples

Co-Leader of the Maori Party

28 May 2009

EDUCATION: $20m to help Maori in high school

Talks between Dr Pita Sharples and Education Minister Anne Tolley have resulted in an extra $19.9 million being allocated over the next four years to address underachievement by mainstream secondary schools in educating Maori.

“Since the Maori Party got into Parliament, we’ve been taking the stand that something needs to be done about so many of our children leaving school without any qualifications,” Dr Sharples said.

“I’m pleased that Mrs Tolley has heard us in this respect.”

The boost in money will see another thirty schools, where there are high numbers of Maori students, benefit from Te Kotahitanga – a programme that supports teachers to build more effective teaching relationships with Year 9 and 10 Maori students.

Ministry of Education statistics show that Maori students in mainstream secondary schools are three times more likely than non-Maori students to leave school early. The extra money will see $6.4 million allocated in 2009/10, $4.6 million in 2010/11 and $4.5 million in each of the two years to follow.

“Another very positive announcement in Budget 2009 is the $69.7m to expand the twenty hour early childhood scheme from July 1 to five-year-olds, play centres and nga kohanga reo,” Dr Sharples.

“The Maori Party has been a strong advocate for extending the criteria to including play centres and kohanga reo in the scheme. It is great to see this inequity finally being addressed.”

ENDS

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