Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Rahui Katene: Estimates Debate 2011 Vote Education

Estimates Debate 2011 Vote Education

Rahui Katene, MP for Te Tai Tonga
Wednesday 9 August 2011

The Maori Party is pleased to take a call today, to address the estimates for Vote Education - and in particular to address the advice from the report of the education and science committee regarding charters.

The committee's report advises that about two thirds of primary and intermediate schools have submitted valid charters; and that the Secretary for Education has written to schools that have not submitted charters, requiring the information that must be legally provided under section 144a of the Education Act 1989.

At the risk of reverting to legalese, I want to highlight the significance of charters for every school and indeed, every community and our nation as a whole.


The charter is the legal instrument between a board and the Minister that outlines how they will give effect to the National Education Guidelines and all that falls under them. This includes the New Zealand Curriculum which is what I want to refer to in my korero today.

The charter is a key report for every community, which outlines the direction schools want to take, and the plan they have to get there. It is critical to lifting performance where required and provides a plan which enables every student to achieve.

Well that's how it is meant to work in theory.

But actually what we find in practice makes for depressing reading.

And I am particularly saddened by a recent Education Review Office which tells us that the performance of far too many schools across key principles of the curriculum is less than it could be.

The report, Directions for Learning, reveals that the least evident principles were Treaty of Waitangi, cultural diversity, coherence and future focus.

And I read two key lines from that report:

"It would be useful for schools to gain a more comprehensive view of the implications of the Treaty of Waitangi for school policy and practice. It would also be useful for schools to develop their understanding about the nature of the Treaty of Waitangi and cultural diversity principles".


Mr Speaker, last Tuesday I released a private members bill to ensure that any person signing up to any oath set out in statute may elect to state that they will uphold the Treaty of Waitangi. The rationale behind the bill is to recognise that the Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand's founding document and the Government is committed to fulfilling its obligations as a Treaty partner.

Every school has an opportunity to lift up to the promise of the Treaty, to make Treaty understanding and cultural awareness come alive in their classrooms.

And I want to highlight the significance also of the relationship to cultural competency.

Learning to understand and value one's own cultural base is an important step towards being able to respect and value other peoples.

That is why the Maori Party has been promoting, in every sector that we can, the importance of cultural diversity associated with factors of quality and excellence.

In the ERO report it tells us that where there was evidence that schools were thinking about the principle of cultural diversity into their curriculum, students had opportunities to celebrate some of their cultural practices and to share knowledge of these with other students.

By contrast, where this principle was not highly evident, there was little acknowledgment of students' cultural heritage in school programmes and in the school environment.

Perhaps the most sobering statement in the whole report is that a more inclusive approach to curriculum management would make learning more relevant for students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Mr Speaker, this is exactly why we need to keep a vigilant overview on schools submitting charters, so that we can see exactly how much progress is being achieved towards make learning relevant and meaningful to all students.

Mr Speaker, because Pakeha culture is so strong and secure it can sometimes be taken for granted. One might ask, can a fish describe the sea it swims in?

Cultural competency recognises there are many seas feeding in to our global oceans. We must respect the unique cultural framework that each bring to the mix, and there is no better place to do that, than in our schools.

Na reira, tena koutou katoa.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether We’re Punching Above Our Weight, And Should We Care?

According to Pierre De Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, the Olympic ideal was not about “winning, but fighting well. Life is not conquering, but fighting well.” True to that ideal, young people from all over the world do still congregate together once every four years to compete peacefully against each other... More>>



 
 


Finance: Finance Minister And RBNZ Governor Agree To Update MOU On Macro-prudential Policy

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr have updated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy to further protect the financial system and support the Government’s housing objectives... More>>

Government: Offers Formal Apology For Dawn Raids
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>


Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>

ALSO:




Human Rights Commission: Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing... More>>



NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels