St. Stephen’s School is looking to reopen in 2020 and the waiting list for Māori boys to enrol is already nearing 150.
A number of hui over the past three months have been organised by the TIPENE oldboys Association for parents interested in sending their boys to the new St. Stephen’s School. More than 400 have had the opportunity to discuss the new model and to hear about its unique focus and anticipated outcomes.
According to Joe Harawira (Chair of the oldboys association) many of those attending have been Māori mothers desperate for solution to the education of their boys. These concerns have now prompted wider discussions on need for more active investment into Māori boys education.
Mr Harawira notes that “while we are all aware of the poor educational outcomes for Māori students, we now know that within this group it is our boys who are suffering the most, it is our boys who are disproportionately burdened across almost every indicie, and our boys who subsequently suffer the negative effects later in life.
“In spite of the data – there is no targeted strategy or policy with a focus on Māori boys”.
Harawira goes on to say that “Māori boys are more likely than any other ethnic group (male or female) to leave school with little or no formal qualifications – that’s a fact, but its also a crisis”. He further notes that “A new Tipene will not be the panacea to these issues, but it will provide an option which is not currently available and which Māori parents appear to be desperate for”.
A registration site for interested parents was launched a little over two months ago and already almost 150 parents have formally enrolled their boys into the school, here. Harawira’s final thoughts:
“We are about a year out from reopening Tipene and already we have a long waiting list – what does that tell you about the demand for this school? Parents no longer ask why we reopening, but why cant we do it sooner”.