24 Apr 2013

Support voiced for Te Kotahitanga

6:38 am on 24 April 2013

The Green Party says it cannot believe the Government is dumping one of the most successful Maori learning programmes, by discontinuing funding for Te Kotahitanga.

The Government says the programme is not being dropped but is being expanded into a broader development plan, called Building on Success.

But the architect of the programme, Professor Russell Bishop, says the new programme will not include the classroom facilitators, who he says are behind the academic success of secondary school Maori students.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei questions why the Government says Maori learning success is a priority, yet cuts one of the best education programmes only to fund an unproven alternative.

Te Kotahitanga is operating in 50 schools throughout the country.

Meanwhile, an education union is also questioning how serious the Government is about raising Maori under-achievement in schools.

The New Zealand Educational Institute, Te Riu Roa, said it seems wasteful and extraordinary that any Government would abandon a proven successful programme after 12 years and $35 milllion in investment.

The office of the Education Minister, Hekia Parata, said she was not available for comment.

Recent figures have shown more Maori and Pasifika students are achieving NCEA Level 2: 54% of Maori 16-year-olds are now passing NCEA Level 2, representing a 2% rise in Maori achievement.