OrangaTangata | Education & Training

Māori Party education & training policy

Executive Summary

Mā te huruhuru, ka rere te manu

Our education system is continuing to fail far too many Māori students. Kaupapa Māori education is under-resourced, undervalued and remains marginalised in the education system. The Pākehā mainstream education system is broken and institutionally racist, despite the good work of many.  Fundamental change is required to ensure that tamariki and rangatahi Māori can fulfil their potential.

The Māori Party vision for education is to ensure that all tamariki are supported to thrive and be themselves and receive high-quality education that sets them on the pathway to achieve their dreams, regardless of where they go to school. No one can realise their aspirations unless they know who they are, where they come from, and are proud of their culture and heritage.

Our policy is centred around three pou; resourcing and valuing kaupapa Māori education, overhauling the Pākehā mainstream system and creating pathways for school leavers.

The Māori Party will:

Resource and value kaupapa Māori education

  1. Ensure all Māori medium education is funded equal to its mainstream equivalents through equity-based funding models
  2. Establish a $200m fund to drive whānau, hapū and iwi education and training initiatives including the establishment of new hapū-based wānanga
  3. Implement the Te Kōhanga Reo settlement claim (WAI 2336) including by significantly increase operational funding for kōhanga, recognising kaiako qualifications, and guaranteeing pay equity.
  4. Increase and promote scholarships available for young Māori to train as teachers of Te Aho Matua and for reo Māori speakers to train as teachers

 

Overhaul the mainstream education system

  1. Require a minimum of 25% of the education budget be directed to Māori models of delivery and pastoral care
  2. Ensure that te reo Māori and Māori history are core curriculum subjects in primary up to Year 10 at secondary schools
  3. Establish an independent Māori Standards Authority to oversee Māori language funding and audit providers to ensure they meet cultural and reo Māori competency standards
  4. Fund free digital devices and free internet for all children from Yr4 – Yr13
  5. Remove the power of schools to expel any student younger than the school leaving age of 16
  6. Require that all schools have Māori in their staff senior leadership teams
  7. Fund schools to hire additional Māori support staff who are well-paid and centrally funded
  8. Establish a Māori-led taskforce with the mandate to transform how Māori students with disabilities and learning differences are taught and supported
  9. Ensure that Māori staff are hired, and existing Māori staff paid extra, to lead cultural programmes such as kapa haka, taiaha, raranga and running school-based marae

 

Create pathways for school leavers

  1. Establish a $276m fund to ramp up the work of STEM and STEAM academies, such as the Pūhoro STEM Academy
  2. Double the existing Māori and Pacific trade training and cadetships placements per annum
  3. Permanently remove fees from apprenticeships

Context

A strong sense of identity and self-worth are essential components of strong growth. As evidenced by educational performance data from the Ministry of Education, Māori medium models of education that have the culture at the centre of the delivery methods have outperformed mainstream education regarding Māori performance for decades now. The solutions are known, they are simply ignored and that can no longer be tolerated.

As Aotearoa’s economy advances into the next five years the exiting of the baby boomer generation will be felt as they move into retirement. This cohort of the workforce is approximately 30% and they will take with them much of the technical expertise and experience that underpins the current value setting of the economy. This is a risk to the value of the future economy of the country. They will subsequently be replaced by a 30% cohort of young people, primarily Māori and Pasifika. If this cohort of young Māori and Pasifika are under skilled when they arrive at the workforce, due to a flawed education system, the value settings of the future economy are at risk. None of this is ‘new’, it is well understood.

The ultimate failing of Aotearoa’s education system is its failure to recognize the Māori culture as an essential component of growth for Māori leaving no other option than conformity. This overt devaluing of the Māori identity is a legacy feature of an education system born out of colonial monocultural dominance.

For the sake of our future economy and country, this must end, and Māori must be authorised to redefine and restructure the education system to better serve Māori. It is a simple move to suit demographic shifts in Aotearoa and one that the retirement of ageing Pākehā will be dependent on.  It is also incumbent on our generation to prepare our people to be productive and highly valued participants in the future social, economic, and cultural make up on Aotearoa.

Solution

Resourcing and valuing kaupapa Māori education

We know that Māori parents want Māori environments for their tamariki as that is the only way they can be sure that their tamariki will be safe and empowered to be who they are.

The massive strides of kaupapa Māori education movements in the last four decades to educate our young people in the face of systemic inequity and injustice have led to generations of more and more successful rangatahi Māori confident in their culture and who they are. They are using their innate knowledge and talents to carve out their own path in an often hostile and unjust society.

Māori medium education not only immerses children in te reo Māori, but in tikanga, kaupapa and wairua Māori. It is a holistic approach that is at the foundation of the curriculum, Te Aho Matua, which provides pathways for educational, cultural, and economic excellence.

But this reality has not been recognised or resourced by the Crown. Māori medium education has always been systemically under-resourced and undervalued.

The Māori Party will ensure that all Māori medium education from kōhanga to kura kaupapa and wharekura and whare wānanga is funded equal to their mainstream equivalents with an immediate focus of equity-based funding models which may require higher levels of funding through the initial phases. Equity is also expected in capital assistance for the expansion of Māori medium delivery from kōhanga to whare wānanga.

We will also establish a $200m fund to drive whānau, hapū and iwi education and training initiatives including the establishment of new hapū-based wānanga, this initiative will localize delivery and require an across agency approach including iwi, hapū and marae and government through Whānau Ora.

The Waitangi Tribunal’s Te Kōhanga Reo settlement claim (WAI 2336) tribunal found the Crown's early childhood education system, in particular its funding formula, quality measures, and regulatory regime, had "failed to adequately sustain the specific needs of kōhanga reo as an environment for language transmission and whānau development". We would implement the settlement including by significantly increasing operational funding for kōhanga and recognising kaiako qualifications and guaranteeing pay equity.

The Māori Party will:
  • Ensure all Māori medium education from kōhanga to kura kaupapa and wharekura and whare wānanga are funded equal to their mainstream equivalents with an immediate focus of equity-based funding models
  • Establish a $200m fund to drive whānau, hapū and iwi education and training initiatives including the establishment of new hapū-based wānanga
  • Implement the Te Kōhanga Reo settlement claim (WAI 2336) including by significantly increase operational funding for kōhanga, recognising kaiako qualifications, and guaranteeing pay equity
  • Increase and promote scholarships available for young Māori to train as teachers of Te Aho Matua and for reo Māori speakers to train as teachers

Overhauling the mainstream education system

Even though most Māori parents want their tamariki in more explicitly kaupapa Māori environments, due a huge range of factors including availability and resourcing, most Māori children are still in mainstream education.

It is essential that we overhaul the Pākehā education system that fails to embrace tamariki Māori for who they are or put in place structures and policies to ensure that they succeed.

We need to implement structural and cultural change in schools, while supporting teachers to do their best by Māori students, and properly resourcing adequate Māori staffing levels.

The Māori Party would ensure that mainstream classrooms to speak the language of our tupuna; to include Māori ways of knowing in the curriculum, and to hold our tupuna up as role models of academic excellence. We want children to learn in schools that teach them that their ancestors were great philosophers, scientists, mathematicians, entrepreneurs, and researchers.

We want all tamariki to stand tall in the knowledge that they have a rich and distinct heritage of scholarly endeavours. Distinct tribal knowledge and role models matter as they serve as a solid foundation for the transformational learning, innovation, and intellectual and social development of our tamariki.

In line with our Whānau First policy, the Māori Party will require that a minimum of 25% of the education budget is directed to Māori models of delivery and pastoral care to ensure our tamariki, and all the way through to pakeke are supported through the education and training pathway and achieve educational and training advancement as Māori.

We will introduce te reo Māori and Māori history are core curriculum subjects in primary up to Year 10 at secondary schools, while ensuring that tuition is informed by place-based learning alongside mana whenua. We will also fund the development of teachers’ reo Māori proficiency and new reo Māori resources, while incentivising teachers to strive to learn te reo Māori with increased renumeration for language proficiency.

The Māori Party will:

  • Require a minimum of 25% of the education budget is directed to Māori models of delivery and pastoral care to ensure our tamariki
  • Ensure that te reo Māori and Māori history are core curriculum subjects in primary up to Year 10 at secondary schools
  • Establish an independent Māori Standards Authority to oversee Māori language funding and audit providers to ensure they meet cultural and reo Māori competency standards
  • Permanently increase funding for the Te Kotahitanga programme and other programmes that work to address racism and inequity
  • Require schools to work with mana whenua to implement place-based learning and teaching of local histories and kaupapa
  • Ensure all primary schools will be required by 2023 to incorporate te reo Māori into 15% of their curriculum, with the view to increasing this percentage to 25% by 2026 and 50% by 2030
  • Ensure that primary school teacher registration will be contingent upon meeting a basic competency level of te reo Māori and remunerate primary and secondary school teachers according to te reo Māori competency standards

Supporting Māori students and staff in mainstream education

The Māori Party will tackle inequity, racism and the digital divide in our education system head on.

Schools must be required to take their responsibilities to Māori students seriously. That’s why the Māori Party would ensure that there are Māori staff in every school’s senior leadership team, that all staff and board of trustee members are required to undertake periodic training in kaupapa Māori education and Te Tiriti issues, and that they develop relationships with mana whenua.

We would also remove the ability for schools to expel students who are below the school leaving age of 16. Māori students make up 50% of students who are excluded for school, while 55% of the exclusions for drug use were Māori. Students with behavioural issues need wrap around support, and those who are using drugs need health interventions. Excluding children from school does irreparable harm - 51 per cent of all prisoners were kicked out of their schools as children. The education system must be responsive to the needs of all students, not throw up its hands and leave young people to fend for themselves.

As we confront the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have an unique opportunity to tackle digital divide head on, and ensure that all tamariki Māori have access to the life opportunities that young people harness from technology and the digital world. An important part of this challenge that the Māori Party is committed to is funding quality digital learning devices and internet access for all students that need them.

Māori staff in mainstream schools are doing everything they can to support tamariki Māori to achieve their potential, but they have had to fight every day and go above and beyond what anyone should be expected to. Too often te reo Māori teachers and other teachers are expected to, or choose to, undertake many cultural programmes to support Māori students such as kapa haka, taiaha, raranga and waka ama. They often also run school-based marae and after-hours support for students. Our teachers need to be supported by being paid properly, and with additional staff, to undertake and expand these programmes which often give tamariki Māori their only avenue to be who they are while at school.

The Māori Party will:

  • Require that all schools have Māori in their staff senior leadership teams
  • Require that all schools seek to develop formal relationships with mana whenua
  • Remove the power of schools to expel any student younger than the school leaving age of 16
  • Require Boards of Trustees and senior staff leadership teams to undertake training in kaupapa Māori education and Te Tiriti issues
  • Fund schools to hire additional Māori support staff who are well-paid and centrally funded
  • Fund free breakfast and lunch programmes in all low-decile primary and intermediate schools
  • Fund free digital devices for all children from Yr 4 – Yr 13, and free internet via Schools N4L system
  • Ensure that Māori staff are hired, and existing Māori staff paid extra, to lead cultural programmes such as kapa haka, taiaha, raranga and running school-based marae
  • Establish a fund worth $20m for teachers develop their reo and a $10m fund for increased development of te reo Māori resources

Disability, neurodiversity and learning differences

Māori are disproportionately affected by disability, neurodiversity and learning differences. In 2013, 26% of Māori identified as disabled.

The education system has completely failed to support tamariki who learn differently and have extra accessibility. Four in ten disabled Māori adults had no formal educational qualifications – almost double the proportion of non-disabled Māori.

We know that there needs to be greater resource for funding support teachers and appropriate facilities and ensuring professional development for educators.

A recent select committee inquiry into these issues resulted in recommendations, most of which have not been properly implemented by Government. That inquiry also did not properly consider the position of Māori students. We would establish a Māori-led taskforce with the mandate to transform how Māori students with neurodiversity and learning differences are taught and supported.

The Māori Party will:

  • Establish a Māori-led taskforce with the mandate to transform how Māori students with disabilities and learning differences are taught and supported

Creating pathways for school leavers

For young people leaving school and not going on to tertiary education, there are too few pathways into well-paid employment. Tertiary education is by no means the only avenue into continued learning and success, but our education and training policy settings act as though it is.

In June 2020, 35,000 (13.5 per cent) of rangatahi Māori (between the ages of 15 and 24) were not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET). This is nearly twice the rate recorded for European and Asian youth, and significantly greater than the national rate of 11.6%.

Central and local government needs to play a much more active role in the direct creation of jobs, particularly when it comes to reducing Māori unemployment. Māori overrepresentation in unemployment, particularly among young Māori, has remained a constant feature of Aotearoa’s job market.

The current Government’s Mana in Mahi programme is an employer subsidy scheme targeting Māori men. This is not doing enough to get our people into jobs, and it does not even guarantee a living wage or fulltime hours, thereby contributing to the problem of an overly precarious job market.

We will establish a 276 million dollar fund to ramp up the work of STEM and STEAM academies, such as the Pūhoro STEM Academy, across the country to ensure our rangatahi are caught and supported before they drop out of secondary school to transition into tertiary education and on to employment in high value jobs and careers.

The Māori Party will put a major focus on increasing placements in apprenticeships, training schemes, and cadetships. We will develop advanced apprenticeships schemes in the renewable energy, agriculture, construction, digital, and engineering sectors for people wanting to upskill or retrain in another industry.

This policy works alongside our economic and environmental plans which also have specific policies aimed at job creation. For example, we will support and fund hapū and iwi-led initiatives that support job creation, particularly in conservation and clean energy.

The Māori Party will:

  • Establish a $276m fund to ramp up the work of STEM and STEAM academies, such as the Pūhoro STEM Academy
  • Double the existing Māori and Pacific trade training and cadetships placements per annum
  • Permanently remove fees from apprenticeships
  • Create more pre-degree pathways for Māori and Pacific students who have not achieved entrance requirements to undertake tertiary education
  • Develop advanced apprenticeships schemes in the renewable energy, agriculture, digital, construction, and engineering sectors
  • Fund hapū and iwi-led initiatives that support youth employment, particularly in conservation and clean energy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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