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Pacific teachers have their say on the future of education

10 May 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

The Ministry of Education will host its second education summit in Auckland this weekend, as part of the Government's plan to refine the system.

The first summit held in Christchurch last week drew more than 800 people from across the South Island, keen to have their say on the future of education. 

The Education Summit in Christchurch. Photo/ NZ Children's Commissioner.

Cook Islands-Māori teacher Joseph Houghton, who works across seven schools in Christchurch, says he'd like to see a greater number of teachers with experience in diverse communities.

"From my perspective, as someone who works in trying to raise achievement for Māori and Pacific students, it's got to be about making sure that there's quality teaching for all our students," he says.

"From the diverse range of students that we have come into our school, that they're able to walk into a school, feel comfortable to learn, feel comfortable in their identity, see their culture as part of the system that they're in and see their own families as part of the communities that schools are engaging with."

Education Minister Chis Hipkins has announced a workforce strategy to address the teacher shortage, with teacher graduates in serious decline from 5,875 in 2012 to 3,665 in 2016.

South Auckland's Rowandale Primary School Principal Karl Vasau hopes the workforce strategy accommodates the genuine needs of teachers.

"One of the things we need to focus on after these summits is create a workforce that addresses the genuine needs of our children," he says.

"And in order to attract quality teachers, we need to ensure teachers are paid appropriately, that teachers have enough time to do their job and that teachers find the profession attractive."

Tags: education,