Maori performing arts a path to further education
Young Maori can be encouraged into tertiary education through cultural activities they are already passionate about, says the Manukau Institute of Technology’s Senior Schools Fellowship award recipient, Alfriston College deputy principal Andrea Tapu.
Alfriston College deputy principal Andrea Tapu is the first recipient of MIT’s annual Senior Schools Fellowship to work with its Maori education department. Andrea is exploring ways to encourage Maori school leavers to enter into tertiary education.
Andrea is on secondment at MIT’s Te Tari Matauranga Maori (Department of Maori Education) and this is the first time a recipient of the fellowship has worked with the department. She is the third recipient of the annual award, which aims to promote partnerships between the institute and local secondary schools.
During her time at MIT Andrea is working with Te Tari to explore ways to encourage Maori school leavers to enter into tertiary education.
She says Maori performing arts such as kapa haka are a great vehicle to attract young people into tertiary education, especially as NCEA credits and Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) funding for performing arts are now available.
“Kapa haka is something many young people are already involved in and can be a springboard into a host of different opportunities, such as further education. It can also act as their touchstone in an otherwise alien environment.”
Being involved in local Maori Performance Competitions creates an opportunity for MIT to showcase itself to more young people, while performing arts group Pounamu working alongside Te Tari offers young Maori passionate about performance an avenue into further tertiary study, says Andrea.
“The more opportunities young people have to discover what tertiary institutions have to offer, the higher the likelihood is of them enrolling in programmes.”
MIT is the ideal choice as tertiary provider for young Maori in the Counties Manukau region, says Andrea, as it is “right on their doorstep”.
Stronger relationships between MIT’s Te Tari Matauranga Maori and heads of Maori departments at local secondary schools can also help encourage Maori involvement in tertiary education, says Andrea. “Increasing Maori participation in further education is central to several national initiatives and MIT’s Target 2010 programme.”
Target 2010 aims to ensure that by 2010, Maori and Pasifika make up 20% each of MIT graduates, and the participation of other school leavers is increased by 10%.
MIT established the Senior Schools Fellowship in 2004 for local secondary principals or other senior staff to undertake research at the institute.
The award addresses a need for advanced professional development for senior managers in secondary schools in the region, says MIT manager of education and business relations and information Graeme McClennan.
“The award enhances professional development opportunities in the region and is one of the ways MIT seeks to work more closely with local schools.”
The first recipient of the fellowship was Tangaroa College deputy principal Jim Francis, while Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate assistant principal Simon Dennan received the award last year.
Manukau Institute of Technology is one New Zealand’s largest polytechnics. It offers 140 formal programmes at degree, diploma and certificate level to 6891 equivalent full time students. Established in 1970 as the country’s first purpose built polytechnic, MIT delivers vocational training. With a workforce of 900, MIT is one of the biggest employers in the Counties Manukau region. Manukau City is New Zealand’s fastest growing metropolis.