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Pasifika Education Plan shows good progress

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Education
Hon Tariana Turia
Acting Minister of Pacific Island Affairs

3 August 2011 Media Statement

Pasifika Education Plan shows good progress

Education Minister Anne Tolley says a mid-term review of the Pasifika Education Plan (2009-2012) shows positive results in early childhood education, schooling and the Youth Guarantee for Pasifika children and young people.

The review found that Pasifika participation in early childhood education (ECE) has increased by 9.5 per cent since 2009. It also showed some improvement in NCEA Level 2 attainment, good retention levels at secondary schools, and that twenty per cent of Youth Guarantee places are being filled by Pasifika 16 and 17 year olds.

“These findings are encouraging, and they show the Government’s focus on lifting achievement for Pasifika students is getting results,” says Mrs Tolley.

“But much more needs to be done. Pasifika children are still much less likely to attend ECE, which is why our participation projects, part of the $91.8 million investment in Budget 2010, are so important.

“The review shows the need for an increased focus on literacy and numeracy, and National Standards are addressing this by identifying the children who need support in reading, writing and maths and making sure they get extra help.

“Meanwhile the Youth Guarantee, Trades Academies and Service Academies are providing exciting opportunities, free of charge, for thousands of teenagers who were at risk of disengaging from education, by allowing them to learn practical skills while gaining worthwhile qualifications, using the flexibility of NCEA credits."

Acting Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Tariana Turia is pleased the Ministry of Education is on target for achieving better outcomes for children of te Moananui-a-Kiwa, with eight new early childhood centres announced in June.

"Of these eight, some are specifically culturally-orientated, catering for Tongan, Niuean, Samoan and Cook Island children," says Mrs Turia.

"Learning is always far more effective if it is relevant to our own cultural context," said Mrs Turia.

"I am really thrilled that there are hundreds of new places for children, nō te Moananui-a-Kiwa, in areas where ECE participation is most needed."

ENDS

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