12 September 2019
NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement this morning that the teaching of Aotearoa's history in schools will become compulsory in 2022.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart says the decision is long overdue.
“It is something we have been advocating for some time,” she says. “Our children need to know the true history of Aotearoa if they are to grow up to be informed citizens.”
Ms Stuart says that there will need to be support for teachers if New Zealand history is to be taught successfully in every school.
“It will be important that professional development is accessible to teachers and that appropriate resources are available for teachers at all levels of the curriculum.”
NZEI Te Riu Roa's Matua Takawaenga, Laures Park, says that the announcement is “not before time.”
She says that some quality resources already exist and are already being used by some schools. She points to the Ministry of Education resource, Te Takanga o te Wa, which the union has been promoting for some time.
“It is an excellent resource that gives teachers the opportunity to collaborate with local iwi and hapu in teaching the stories and histories of their geographic location. Many schools have taken up this approach very easily and successfully. As a result, tamariki have gained a deeper sense of their history and personal identity.”
Ms Park says that she hopes the Prime Minister’s announcement will result in Te Takanga o te Wa being picked up by more schools.