14 Oct 2010

Pasifika teachers dismayed by ministry's action

7:46 pm on 14 October 2010

Pacific Island teachers say the Education Ministry's decision to suspend publication of the two main Pasifika language resources is short-sighted cost-cutting.

They are calling on the Human Rights Commission to launch an investigation into the decision.

The ministry has suspended publication of the Tupu Pasifika educational book series and the Samoan School Journal while, it says, officials investigate better ways of boosting literacy in English.

It says the publications don't align with the goal of boosting literacy and numeracy levels.

However, the president of the Association of Teachers and Parents for the Teaching of Samoan in New Zealand, Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, says he fears further cuts.

He says the ministry's own research over several years shows that children who learn to read in their own language first can also pick up English literacy skills more easily.

He also says there's been no consultation with the community over the decision.

The Labour Party's Pacific Island affairs spokesperson, Su'a William Sio, says the decision is dictatorial.