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Minister to host Pacific Literacy Forum 2013

Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Associate Minister of Education

6 March 2013 Press Release

Minister to host Pacific Literacy Forum 2013

Associate Minister of Education, Hon Dr. Pita Sharples will be hosting a delegation of Pacific educationalists in Auckland from Monday 11 March – 12 March. This forum is the result of discussions which took place at the Pacific Forum Education Ministers Meeting in May 2012, and is intended to showcase New Zealand interventions in language and literacy development.

“I look forward to meeting with representatives from across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa,” said Dr. Sharples. “We will be looking at New Zealand’s literacy programmes as a starting point for discussions and the development of Pasifika solutions to literacy issues.”

“Promoting bi-literacy – literacy in one’s mother tongue, and literacy in English will be a key focus of our workshops. Each nation will have a different context within which they will approach these discussions, but coming together to discuss solutions is an important step in building stronger communities across Pacific nations.”

“‘Reading Together’ is one example of a successful literacy programme which is currently being rolled out in all decile 1 – 3 schools here in New Zealand. It is a programme which engages the whanau into the child’s learning as a means of ensuring that literacy is being supported both in the school and at home.”

“There are many more examples of successful programmes that we have established here in New Zealand, and I am looking forward to sharing this knowledge with our Pacific whanaunga.”

Representatives from Palau, Niue, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia will be in New Zealand to attend this conference.

The forum will focus on four main themes, ‘oral language and literacy development’; ‘families working with schools’; ‘English language learning, literacy and the school curriculum’; and ‘professional learning and development’.

At the completion of the event, participants have been invited to attend the annual Polyfest in Auckland which coincides with the end of the Forum.

“It is wonderful that this event will be held at the same time as Auckland hosts the largest Pacific performing arts festival in New Zealand. The ‘Polyfest’ is an event which showcases the talents of our secondary schools across each of five different cultural performing arts from the Pacific. While it is awesome to see our kids performing on stage, the festival is also a celebration of culture and its role in nurturing Pacific leaders of the future.”

“It is an excellent opportunity to show Pacific nations how we celebrate our ties across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa during this event.”

Media are invited to attend the powhiri for the Pacific Literacy Forum at 1pm today at Hoani Waititi Marae, Glen Eden, Auckland

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