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Education overhaul long overdue says Pacific principal

19 March 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell - ruci.farrell@pmn.co.nz

The principal of a South Auckland primary school welcomes the announcement of Education Minister Chris Hipkins for a major overhaul of Tomorrow's Schools.

Mr. Hipkins says a key priority is for schooling to be more responsive to the needs of Pasifika and Maori children and for whom the education system has not delivered in the past.

Sutton Primary School Principal Fa'atili Iosua Esera says the review is timely as the system has failed Pacific students.

"Pacific students are still largely represented in the scale of under-achievers and not of their own making... lack of resources, the neglect of the use of Pacific languages in schools and the neglect of cultural context in the way learning is expanded in schools."

Fa'atili Iosua Esera. Photo/ Education HQ.

Mr. Hipkins says there's been a lot of "tinkering around the edges" since Tomorrow's Schools was introduced.

He says the review will give schools, students and communities the opportunity to take part in drawing the blueprint for how schools should be organised.

"It will look at how we can better support equity and inclusion for all children through their schooling," says Mr. Hipkins.

An independent taskforce will be appointed in April to undertake the review and report back to the Ministry by November.

Fa'atili Iosua Esera also hopes the review of Tomorrow's Schools will include a major overhaul of the Pasifika Education Plan (PEP).

The five year PEP aims to raise Pasifika learners’ participation, engagement and achievement from early learning through to tertiary education.

Fa'atili Iosua Esera says the Pasifika Education Plan failed to deliver on its bilingual focus.

"The neglect of bilingualism as the target for the Pacific education scheme has been very poor and really the Pasifika education plan has been largely of no use," he says.

Tags: education,