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Education Minister Visits Karamu High School

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins speaks to students during his visit to Karamu High School.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins paid an impromptu visit to Karamu High School, where he saw the recently built languages faculty, which was funded by the Government.

Principal Dionne Thomas says it was wonderful to welcome Minister Hipkins, and Tukituki MP Anna Lorck to the school.

A pōwhiri was held at the school’s June Clarke Centre on Tuesday, before senior students were given the opportunity to ask the Minister questions.

He then toured the school, and saw Ngā Reo Matatini – the languages faculty, aided by the Ministry of Education’s School Investment Property Package (SIPS) in 2019 and opened in September.

Mrs Thomas says the rationale was to create a space where Languages got mana.

“We have been able to introduce Spanish and have seen growth in Te Reo and Te Ao Māori.

“It has indoor/outdoor flow and open learning spaces to allow flexible learning and noho marae opportunities.”

Minister Hipkins says it was great to be able to visit the school, particularly after a few years where Covid-19 has prevented him from visiting as much as he would like.

“It’s nice to be able to come and see what you’re doing and have an opportunity to have a conversation with you, including answering some of your questions,” he told students.

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His advice to students was to take hold of all opportunities, but that everything will be okay.

“Life is full of opportunities, it is full of excitement, it is full of challenges, it’s full of down points and if you’re willing to just continue to look ahead, and be optimistic about the future, you will be able to achieve absolutely amazing things.”

Questions asked included changes to the NCEA system, his views on reducing the voting age to 16-years-old, how he manages his work life balance, and how he got into politics.

Head Students Sasha Sharma and Jack Arcus, along with Deputy Head Students Rory McKay and Jordyn Nicholson say they were proud to be able to showcase their school.

“We are very proud of Karamu, so it was great to be able to showcase what our school has to offer, particularly as it is the only co-educational school in Hastings,” Sasha says.

Rory enjoyed getting an insight into what it is like to be a politician.

“You see them on TV all the time, but never get to meet them. So it was great to be able to engage with them.”

Ms Lorck says she took the Minister to Karamu High School to showcase the great use of the Government’s extra capital spending, building a Languages Faculty.

“Karamu has done so well over the tough time of the pandemic, and it was a good opportunity to affirm that and hear first-hand how well the students are doing.”

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