22 Jul 2015

Te Reo speakers tough to keep in schools

6:36 pm on 22 July 2015

Schools are finding it hard to hang onto teachers who speak Māori, Education Ministry officials have told Parliament's Education and Science Select Committee.

Maori classroom.

Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

Committee members were inquiring into how well regular state schools teach Te Reo.

Education Ministry Te Reo Māori Group Manager Kiritina Johnstone told them enough Māori speakers are training to be teachers, but many later leave teaching for other jobs.

"We will always have a teacher shortage when they have the capability to speak in Te Reo Māori," Ms Johnstone said.

"They are enticed to go to a whole lot of other career pathways as well because of that ability. So although we have large numbers that are going through the training, they don't stay in education for a long time."

Ms Johnstone said the ministry had new programmes in place to encourage more teachers to remain in the job.

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