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Hone Harawira Column - Leadership In Education

Published: Thu 22 Nov 2007 10:08 AM
Hone Harawira Column
Leadership In Education
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to get around to different parts of the Tai Tokerau to talk to people about a range of educational issues.
One of them was a visit to Birkenhead College to talk to a group of Maori students there about my role as an MP, and some of the issues that they are interested in. Another one was a group of young Maori boys (Years 8-10) who had been selected by their schools to attend a leadership training programme being run up in the Waitakere Ranges. I also had the privilege of hosting two young women from Te Rangi Aniwaniwa as part of a parliamentary work experience programme I am running. And continuing in that theme of education and leadership, I also met with a couple of very dynamic and innovative Maori women who talked to me about a programme they were running with secondary school head prefects to help them with strategic planning for their final year.
I have a real passion for educational achievement for Maori kids, so I was buzzed about getting the opportunity to hear positive ideas from teachers, lecturers and the students themselves.
I think we fail our kids by constantly changing the educational framework and making it hard for them to get a measure of their worth as they move into the real world, and I think we need to get some real basics locked down at primary school level so that all kids have the chance at genuine success, at secondary and tertiary education, and in life itself.
I was excited about the head prefects programme, and I’m writing to all the Wharekura from Taupo north, to see whether it’s possible to bring their senior leaders together for a similar programme. I think that given the similarities of their growth within Maori immersion education, they will respond well to working with others of like mind, in developing strategies to enhance their own future as well as lay down solid pathways for those following on.
And I was impressed with the work being done at the Year 8-10 levels as well, because it was grooming kids to be positive role models as they move into secondary schools, which is where a lot of Maori kids start dropping out of the system.
Good stuff all round really. Unfortunately none of it is coming from the mainstream curriculum. Most of it is positive people trying to overcome the system to ensure kids have a chance. Education can be a grind, but with good support, all our kids can make it.
Ends
Hone Harawira
Tai Tokerau MP
0800 TOKERAU
www.tokerau.co.nz

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