15 Aug 2012

Call for everyone to help reverse education underachievement

8:14 am on 15 August 2012

Education leader Lorraine Kerr says every child's failure at school should be everyone's problem.

Ms Kerr is to help the Auditor-General monitor the state education sector to ensure Maori pupils are being given every opportunity to succeed.

The checks will focus on how well the state education system is responding to Maori students, in an initiative that will deliver reports every year for the next five years.

Ms Kerr is head of the School Trustees Association and has been appointed to the Auditor-General's Maori advisory group.

She says people already know Maori underachieve at school, but it's time to find why the pupils are not getting the support they need.

Part of the work will look at how well the Ministry of Education is delivering its Maori education strategy, Ka Hikitia.

Schools, pre-schools, tertiary institutions and Government agencies are the among the organisations that will be examined.

Ms Kerr - of Ngati Awa - says hearts and minds have to be won to help improve educational opportunities for rangatahi (youth).

The Auditor-General's staff say the closer attention on education quality is because it is in the interests of all New Zealanders that young Maori thrive academically, socially, and culturally.