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Future teacher recruits need to understand Pacific and Māori students

15 October 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

A South Auckland principal says finding the best teachers who understand the nuances of teaching Pacific and Māori students is important, following the government's announcement to ramp up the recruitment of more teachers.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins intends to grow the teacher workforce by 850 next year to fill the teacher shortage the country is experiencing.

He says they may look offshore if they are unable to fill the shortfall for next year.

But Rowandale School Principal Karl Vasau says the government's efforts will not suffice for Pacific students.

"We've already been importing teachers for years. What we need are the best teachers for our kids."

"We don't want anybody just walking off the streets or into the country, teaching our children, if they don't know how to relate to Pacific children... of course they can learn that, but are we willing to wait even further while those people retrain?"

Karl Vasau. Photo/ Tagata Pasifika.

Analysis by the Ministry of Education shows that 650 extra primary teachers and 200 extra secondary teachers will be needed in 2019, mostly driven by the predicted growth of students in schools.

Mr Hipkins says the ministry emailed 6,000 overseas teachers who had registered an interest in working in New Zealand to encourage them to take the next step.

Fiji is one of the countries the ministry is looking into for trained teachers whose qualifications are similar to New Zealand's.

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Tags: education,