Opportunity to learn te reo Maori critical, NZEI says

SND11-wk4-Te Reo-Louise Green 300x225All New Zealand children should have the opportunity to learn te reo Maori, NZEI Te Riu Roa says.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Louise Green says New Zealanders of the future will need to be more bi-cultural and multi-cultural, not less.

“Schools and ECE services want to support the right of all Kiwi kids to access our country’s cultural heritage and the ability to be competent and comfortable in a bi-cultural environment.

“It’s a core part of our curriculum already, but we could do much better. The issue is not about making language learning compulsory or not. It is about the urgent need to meet today’s demand – many children and their families, both Pakeha and Maori, cannot access the level of teaching and learning of, or in, te reo that they want now.

“What is needed is a much stronger commitment by Government to resource and support teachers and kaiako to improve the education system’s ability to meet that need. That means investing more in initial teacher education, ongoing professional development, employing more resource teachers of Maori, upskilling current educators and ensuring there is wider whanau and adult learning opportunities available.

Ms Green said there was ample evidence to show exposure to languages supported children’s learning in other areas.

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