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New Zealand must lead the way in bilingual education

Su’a William SIO
Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson
4 August 2011

New Zealand must lead the way in bilingual education

A petition signed by over 5000 people calling on the Government to reinstate funding for Pacific bilingual education has been presented to Labour’s spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs Su’a William Sio.

“New Zealand is the Pacifica capital of the world, we must lead the way in bilingual education,” Su’a William Sio said.

“This petition is a backlash to Education Minister Anne Tolley’s cuts to funding for the production of Pacific Bilingual resources, namely, the Tupu Series, and the Samoan language resource the Folauga Journals,” Su’a William Sio said.

“At 11am today I was presented with a petition spearheaded by a Pacific Language Coalition made up of Pacific teachers, parents, researchers and supporters who value Pacific bilingual education in the New Zealand curriculum.

“In a short-sighted move, National has removed Pacific Languages from the Pacific Education Plan and cut funding to language resources.

“Parents and teachers I spoke with today feel strongly that this is an attack on the rights of Pacific children to speak and write in their first or heritage languages.

“Labour will continue to work for the preservation and protection of Pacific languages. I look forward to tabling this petition in Parliament,” Su’a William Sio said.

ENDS

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