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Background Information On Maori Education Strategy

Background Information On Maori Education Strategy

The Maori Education Strategy (MES) is a comprehensive package aimed at making sustainable, long term changes to the educational results of Maori children. The strategy provides a range of key policy initiatives that will:

improve the educational performance of Maori students in all mainstream schools (ie. Schools that are not Kura Kaupapa Maori);

provide practical assistance to teachers and Boards of mainstream schools on how they can address the educational needs of Maori students;

empower more Maori communities and whanau to participate in the education of their students;

enhance kura kaupapa Maori education.

The MES is a comprehensive package. At it's heart is a move away from ad-hoc short term policies and a move towards long term sustainable policies that directly impact on those schools where most Maori students are - mainstream schools.

The Government will soon be announcing further support for kura kaupapa Maori to ensure this option is also sustainable.

So what is the Maori Education Strategy?

Three strands make up the MES:

improving mainstream education for Maori students,

the development of Maori education authorities, and

enhancing kura kaupapa Maori (to be announced next week).

Mainstream education

The Government has approved changing the National Education Guidelines - the 'ruler' against which ERO measures schools in their reports - to require schools to develop plans and programmes to address the educational needs of their Maori students. These plans must show how schools plan to address the educational disparities between Maori and non-Maori students.

The Government has agreed to provide additional resources to schools to assist in training Principals and teachers so they are able to develop practical, realistic plans and programmes to meet the change to the National Education Guidelines.

The Government has agreed to contract school and community liaison people to help schools and Maori parents and whanau build closer relationships.

The Government has approved a communications campaign to help inform Maori parents how they can play their role in helping their children.

Maori Education Authorities

The Government is committed to examining partnership arrangements between Maori communities and schools at a governance level. Iwi are already working together with the Ministry of Education and local school boards in the Ngati Porou, Tuhoe and the Far North areas to address educational issues in those communities. These projects, aimed at improving governance of the relevant schools, may result in the establishment of Maori education authorities. Officials are required to report back by March 2000 on options that will enable Maori communities and schools to work alongside each other better.


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