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A “Heck No, Hekia!” from Young Pacific Rep

A “Heck No, Hekia!” from Young Pacific Rep

Friday 23 November, 2012

Press Release: Young Labour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pacific Island Representative on Young Labour’s executive, Kieran Meredith, welcomes the sentiment behind the newly announced Pacific Education Plan but believes that the plan is just not bold enough.

Education and Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Hekia Parata yesterday announced the long awaited Pacific Education Plan but noticeably missing is the exclusion of bilingual resources.

“What the minister needs to understand is that, it is all very well to have community-led language initiatives but the funding just isn’t there at community level to do so. The Government should be doing their part at least to nurture our language and to support bilingualism in New Zealand.” Says Young Labour’s Pacific Island Representative, Kieran Meredith.

“The National Government in 2008 got rid of the Tupu and Folauga resource and still the Pacific Community remain left in the dark as to what resources are available to students.”

“The use of the Pacific language and it’s culture in New Zealand requires attention and recognising in order for teachers to better understand the differences that exist and to help us become a more bilingual society overall. There are cognitive benefits associated with being bilingual.” Says Meredith.

“The Pacific Education Plan seems to have a very narrow focus with measurement at the forefront of the plan but there lacks more practical steps to implement the targets outlined and it lacks any commitment from the Minister to reviving language revitalisation and accelerating Pasifika achievement in New Zealand on a practical level.”

“For example, the $25,000 that was put into the Prime Ministers Pacific Youth Awards has window dressed the detriment of the overall state of Pasifika achievement. This National Government is failing to address and better yet support our Pacific Island students into higher level Tertiary education.”

“They are raising the university entrance prerequisites, making student loans and allowances harder to access and financially, Pasifika education and resources are on the downwards slope. As the future and growing face of New Zealand, we deserve better from our representative at the cabinet table.”

ENDS

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