INDEPENDENT NEWS

Making The System Accountable To Maori

Published: Thu 22 Jul 1999 03:02 PM
Making The System Accountable To Maori
The National Education Guidelines will be changed as part of the plan to make schools more accountable to Maori kids, Associate Education Minister Hon Tau Henare said today.
Mr Henare today unveiled the Government's Maori Education Strategy and on releasing it said it would become a priority for government.
"It's about doing things better in educating our kids," he said. "It's also about making sure all parts of the system are working right for Maori kids for their future.
"It's clear that schools aren't doing enough. If you teach all Maori kids the same as everyone else and they're not passing, what do you do?
"The National Education Guidelines are the ruler by which schools are measured. When ERO goes into schools and asks boards of trustees what they're doing for their kids, they have to demonstrate how they've met the NEGs.
"So this is a huge move in the right direction for our kids."
The Associate Minister was enthused that for the first time there were short, medium and long term goals with a view to giving Maori kids opportunity, and readying them to make good decisions about their future.
"It's clear from the marks that some schools don't know how to up the performance of their Maori kids, so there'll also be support funding to develop development programmes."
The next stage of the strategy - that involved improvements in Maori participation and achievement in early childhood education and the tertiary sector - had also started.
"Every day schools must be doing their best to build an education system that brings out the best in Maori kids, and I'm confident we're on the right path.
"While the media are keen to highlight everything that's bad, this strategy should turn that around so in time there'll be more positives for them to focus on that there won't be enough trees to produce the paper to write it on.
"It's also a timely reminder to those involved with NEMP (National Education Monitoring Project) that given the right opportunities and environment, Maori will produce more than finely tuned athletes," said Mr Henare.
ENDS

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