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Education Plan Alienates Pasifika Students

Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor
New Zealand First Spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs

March 17, 2014

Education Plan Alienates Pasifika Students

Recent claims that Education Minister Hekia Parata is looking at ways to link school funding to National Standards has outraged parents in Pasifika communities, says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor.

“The idea of targeting educational achievement against monetary funding has deeply upset parents and families in Pasifika communities,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor.

“Many Pacific students from low-income families who are attending low decile schools will be disadvantaged further if the Government pursues this policy.

“New Zealand First recognises that education is a valuable social investment, and that the foundation of education lies in the family. The Government’s current approach to education is fundamentally flawed. They need to stop treating our education system like a commercial company that offers incentives to boost sales, or in this case, pass rates.

“Linking school funding to National Standards will fail to accurately assess Pasifika student development because many Pacific children grow their skills and talents in different ways and at different levels.

“Pasifika students and parents tell us that what makes a difference to their learning is the recognition of the importance of personal relationships, such as those promoted by the Te Kotahitanga programme that was discontinued by this Government last year. There is nothing in recent announcements by this Government that recognises the Pasifika voice.

“National Standards only cover a small part of the curriculum and completely overlook the creative and scientific aspects that engage many of our Pasifika students. This will alienate Pacific students who don’t necessarily fit the mould, says Mrs Lole-Taylor.

ENDS

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