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Strong progress in kaupapa Maori education


Pita Sharples

7 December, 2011

Strong progress in kaupapa Maori education

A glowing report on the work of Te Wananga Takiura o nga Kura Kaupapa Maori o Aotearoa Inc reflects credit on that institution, on Tawhirimatea and Kaa Williams and their staff and students, and also on the tenacity and passion of the leaders of the whole kaupapa Maori education movement, says Associate Minister of Education Dr Pita Sharples.

?This independent report to the NZ Qualifications Authority evaluates the work that is being done at the Wananga Takiura, to train teachers for kura kaupapa Maori and Maori-immersion programmes,? said Dr Sharples.

?Its primary purpose is to reassure students, prospective students and other stakeholders of the rigour of the education and the value of the qualifications offered by te Wananga Takiura, and it certainly does that,? said Dr Sharples.

?The report says:
?Learners interviewed described their achievement at the W?nanga as holistic transformation. In addition to the qualification, they attain and gain access to employment; they describe the journey of learning as transformational, intellectually, culturally, and emotionally. They develop a sense of identity through language, indigenous knowledge, and culture, maximising academic achievement, cultural security, and economic independence. Reo Rumaki learners are proud of their achievement and ability in te reo M?ori. Most students start with limited or no understanding of the language and graduate at the end of the year with reasonable competence and confidence. This increase in reo M?ori speakers is an excellent outcome personally for the learner, their marae, and for M?ori society as the graduates maintain and sustain language, customs, and traditions.

The W?nanga has documented the destination of graduates over a number of years and to date has graduated 273 teachers, who have gone on to practise as principals, deputy principals, teachers, and education advisors. Ninety-five per cent of the student demographic is M?ori and their achievements are an excellent result as these graduates influence, and role model success to, the pupils they teach.?

?This report confirms that we now have an established and well-run teachers? college producing skilled and qualified graduates to lead our kura kaupapa Maori. So it also reflects on the success of the kaupapa Maori education movement in consolidating the advances made over the past generation,? said Dr Sharples.

?When the first kura were established, whanau scrambled to find trained teachers who were also Maori speakers. The teachers scrambled to put together a teaching programme, and to produce their own classroom resources. The whanau scrambled to raise funds and to establish management and review systems to support the staff. What drove them all was a vision of education for cultural freedom.

?I want to congratulate Te Wananga Takiura on such a positive report, which must inspire everyone involved in kaupapa Maori education to achieve the highest standards of excellence.

?This year work will continue on developing a curriculum for kura kaupapa Maori which is aligned to Te Aho Matua, the guiding philosophy of the movement.

?Every step brings us closer to the vision of rangatiratanga ? our ability to raise Maori children in ways that reinforce their cultural identity, and maximise their potential contribution to New Zealand and the world,? said Dr Sharples. 2012