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Pacific principals: Education budget "not enough"

21 May 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

The New Zealand Pasifika Principals Association is welcoming the Government's $12.5 billion of new investment in education over the next four years, but says it won't address the teacher shortage.

Photo/ PMN. 

Association spokesman Fa'atili Iosua Esera says the $600 million allocated to address teacher supply issues is nowhere near enough to attract and retain teachers in Auckland.

He says sourcing good-quality Pacific teachers is difficult, but retaining them is a bigger challenge because they don't earn enough. 

"The number one goal for the New Zealand Pacific Principals Association is to advance learning for Pacific kids. A big part of that is to increase the number of Pacific teachers in schools," he says.

"There's not enough to actually attract people to the profession and then retain them."

Fa'atili Iosua Esera. Photo/ Tagata Pasifika.

The coalition government has committed $370 million to hire 1500 new teachers by 2021.

It will also use $395 million over the next three years to build new schools and hundreds of extra classrooms.

The Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme will get $62 million.

Early Childhood Education will receive the biggest boost of $590 million in new operating funds over the next four years, a significantly higher fund than under the previous government.

Another $34.5 million will also be spent on English for Speakers of Other Languages schooling.

Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says ESOL programmes directly benefit Pacific students.

"When you're looking at the number of Pacific students who are accessing ESOL programmes right now, around 31 percent are Pacific students so they will be getting quite a bit of the initiative under that."

Around 2900 deaf students and 1500 low-vision students will get support from an extra $30 million boost to sensory schools and New Zealand Sign Language education. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the extra funds will lift all students regardless of ability or disability. 

"It's just making sure that everyone regardless of their abilities or disabilities has all the support they need."

Tags: education,