Greens praised for stance on te reo Māori in schools
The Greens are being praised by several education industry players for their goal to have every New Zealand child learning te reo Māori at school.
NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes the plans, saying all children deserve to learn the language and there needs to be professional development and training for teachers in place in order to make it a success.
"Te reo Māori should be a part of our everyday language, and taught as a key part of New Zealand's curriculum," NZEI president Lynda Stuart says.
"By normalising te reo Māori in our schools we help make learning more inclusive for Maori children, and we also help ensure our indigenous language stays truly alive for all of us,” she says.
However, Stuart says there is a lot of work needed to make this possible.
“Many more fluent Maori speakers need to be attracted into teaching, and strategies and resources are needed to ensure that professional development and training is provided both at the pre service level, and for teachers in the classroom,” she explains.
"This requires a plan, but also much more Government investment if it's going to happen," says Stuart.
Meanwhile, the PPTA says universal te reo Māori in schools will ‘rejuvenate’ the language.
The organisation says teachers around the country are congratulating the Greens for its commitment to teaching te reo Maori. “
E tautoko marika mātou ngā hiahia, ngā tumanako o Te Pāti Kākariki mo tō tātou reo rangatira, pono marika tērā. No reira me tuku tēnei kaupapa ki te ao, me tuku kia rere,” says PPTA Te Huarahi representative Johnny Waititi says
“Ko tēnei te hiahia, engari he aha ngā rautaki hei whakatinana wenei hiahia, koina.”
PPTA president Jack Boyle adds, “We have had policy supporting te reo Māori as a universal subject since 2001, so it’s excellent to see a political party taking concrete steps towards achieving it.
“Being able to learn te reo Māori will benefit every child in Aotearoa/New Zealand,” he says.
Boyle says te reo Māori is part of the fabric of the economic, social and cultural history of all New Zealanders.”
“Of course, having the right number of teachers of te reo is critical to the success of this policy. Currently the demand for teachers of te reo Māori outstrips supply,” he says.
“There is a clear need for more teachers with appropriate skills and qualifications,” says Boyle.
“Māori teachers are needed to provide the source for the teaching of Māori language and culture in the public education system. They are strong advocates for te ao Māori within their schools,” he says.
“The policy is clear that capacity and supply issues must be addressed and we look forward to working together on a comprehensive plan,” Boyle says.
“Ko tōku reo, tōku ohooho, tōku māpihi maurea, tōku whakakai marihi.”