Maori educators call for better spending to tackle inequality
9 July 2014
More than 200 Maori school leaders meeting in Dunedin this week have condemned the government's failure to invest in real solutions to improve outcomes for Maori students.
The delegates at the Kahui Whetu conference have called for $359m funding set aside for the Investing in Educational Success policy to instead be spent at classroom level.
They pointed to a need for better resourcing of special education, additional support staffing and a reduction in class sizes.
Delegates also spoke of a need to invest in teacher training that gives all teachers cultural skills to work with Maori students.
Speaking to the conference, NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowatarski said that the government's investment of $359 million in its Investing in Educational Success policy put money into the pockets of a few teachers and principals but would make little difference to children who are struggling.
Delegates at the conference questioned just how the IES funding would help Maori students.
"Given IES is supposed to raise Maori achievement, why is it not going to directly to tamariki and kaiako Maori?" asked Tiri Bailey, a Resource Teacher of Maori.
"As teachers we rub up against inequality and poverty everyday. The government should be talking with us about solutions instead of adopting untried ideas from overseas," said Judith Nowotarski.