Education Minister Hekia Parata has welcomed the He Kai Kei Aku Ringa report from the M?ori Economic Development Panel saying it is very consistent with her own approach to improving M?ori outcomes in the education system.
?He Kai Kei Aku Ringa is a very helpful piece of work. It makes clear, quality education, skills and training are cornerstones of a productive and thriving economy, and I look forward to the work already under way in the education portfolio contributing to the Government?s M?ori Economic Development agenda.??
Ms Parata reconfirmed the Government?s commitment to raising educational achievement for young people, especially for priority groups such as M?ori, Pasifika, learners with special education needs, and those from low income backgrounds.
?We have set Better Public Service targets of 98 per cent of all schools entrants having participated in early childhood education by 2016 and 85 per cent of all 18 years olds having achieved NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification by 2017. We want all our kids to leave school with the skills they need to reach their potential in the modern economy. We are currently refreshing Ka Hikitia ? Managing for Success 2008-2012 and utilising a number of Taskforces to focus all our efforts on achieving these results.
?We have seen the number of Maori school leavers? who have achieved NCEA Level 2 increase from 44.3% in 2009 to over 51% last year. That is great but we still need to do better.
?I welcome the focus and priority this plan is putting on education as a force for economic participation and growth and I expect that the programmes I have underway to improve outcomes among M?ori will reflect the report?s recommendations in their work programmes.
?I thank the members of the panel for recognising the vital importance of education in building a stronger M?ori economy and for their recommendations.?