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‘Accelerating Educational Achievement’ workshops

Ministry of Education seeks to ‘dramatically accelerate’ the prospects of Auckland’s young people

The Ministry of Education is holding two ‘Accelerating Educational Achievement’ workshops in Auckland, says Deputy Secretary for Priority Education Assignments Apryll Parata.

“The Auckland workshops focus on accelerating student achievement and engaging young people in learning. We’re bringing local educators, boards of trustee members, tertiary providers, business people, and community leaders together to talk about how best to transition Auckland’s young people from school, into further education, training, or work.”

The forward to the Auckland Plan to 2040 states that Auckland needs to ‘dramatically accelerate the prospects of [its] children and young people’ if all its citizens are to prosper, and the city is to become New Zealand’s economic powerhouse.

“These workshops fit well with the educational vision Auckland has set for itself and its economy. They are the first in a series of engagements we will have with Auckland communities around raising Auckland student achievement and on engaging more young Aucklanders in learning.”

The Ministry of Education has a number of targets that, if met, will go a long way towards meeting the economic, educational and social aspirations of all Aucklanders, Apryll Parata says.

“By 2017, the Government wants 85% of 18 year-olds leaving school with an NCEA Level 2 or higher qualification, and for 55% of 25 to 34 year olds to have a qualification at Level 4 or above, whether a degree, diploma or a trade’s certificate.

“Auckland is making progress towards these targets. In 2012, for example, 81% of 18 year-old Aucklanders had an NCEA Level 2 or equivalent qualification. That compares with 78% in 2011. Maori NCEA Level 2 achievement in the same age group rose by just over 3.5%, and Pasifika achievement levels rose by 3.3%, over the same period. “

Apryll Parata says however, that Maori and Pasifika levels of achievement remain well below that of other Auckland students.

“This achievement gap between Maori and Pasifika and the rest threatens Auckland’s vision for itself. The gap needs to close if Auckland wants to be the city that it aspires to be.”

“At the workshops the Ministry will be sharing what we are doing to raise achievement and reporting on the progress being made, using our newly developed Auckland regional education profiling data. This data means we can show, for the first time, how local students are doing in terms of participation and achievement. We can now track this progress from early childhood education, through primary and secondary schooling, and on into further education or tertiary education.”

Work by the Ministry’s Youth Guarantee team is an important focus of the workshops.

“The Youth Guarantee has a range of options students can engage in to prepare them for work, or further study. Using the Vocational Pathways, students can start thinking about their future options in areas such as technology, construction, or primary industries. There needs to be choice for the 70% of our young people who do not study at degree level.”

“There is considerable interest in the Auckland workshops. More than 140 registrations have already been received. I hope that all who are interested in Auckland’s educational future will attend one of the workshops,” Apryll Parata concluded.


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