Refreshed Māori education strategies launched

Issue: Volume 99, Number 12

Posted: 31 July 2020
Reference #: 1HA9NQ

The refreshed Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo strategies will be front and centre of New Zealand’s education system.

Ka Hikitia, the Māori Education strategy, and Tau Mai Te Reo, the Māori Language in Education strategy, together outline the shifts needed in education for Māori to achieve and enjoy educational success.

Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo are the culmination of in-depth discussions held with Māori learners, whānau and the education sector over the past three years, including Kōrero Mātauranga and the subsequent wānanga, says Daryn Bean, Deputy Secretary for Māori Education at the Ministry of Education.  

“We know that happy, healthy tamariki and rangatahi learn better and are more likely to achieve in education, work and life when they feel safe and confident in themselves and connected to their learning environments,”
he says.

“Our education system has historically underserved Māori learners for a long time.
As a result, Māori learners collectively experience worse education outcomes than other New Zealand learners and are less engaged in our education system. 

“This has significant social, cultural, health and economic impacts for whānau, hapū, Iwi, Māori and New Zealand as a whole.”

The refreshed Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo documents underpin Aotearoa New Zealand’s 30-year education vision and objectives and sit at the heart of the Ministry’s wellbeing approach. 

They set out the strategic direction for Māori education and Māori language in education respectively and the actions that need to be taken across the Ministry, education agencies and the sector.

Consistent key messages

In the Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation and subsequent wānanga that have been undertaken over the past three years, Māori learners and whānau provided some consistent and familiar messages:

  • Learners and whānau must be at the heart of our education system.
  • Māori learners must be free from racism, discrimination and stigma.
  • Māori are diverse and need an education workforce with the right skills and capability to respond to all Māori learners.
  • Identity, language and culture matter for Māori learners.
  • Māori want to exercise agency and authority in education.
  • Māori want growth in te reo Māori for both Māori and non-Maori learners. To do this, Māori want to be active partners with education services in Māori language learning. 

“We have incorporated these key messages into the vision and principles of Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo. We have also connected this work with the Maihi Karauna [the Crown’s Māori Language strategy],” says Daryn.

For the first time, Ka Hikitia, Tau Mai Te Reo and the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030 will be front and centre of everything the education system does, in order to correct some of the problems that Māori and Pacific learners and whānau spoke to the Ministry about two years ago.

“We have reflected on these messages and are determined to instil them in our education system. To achieve this, the Ministry intends to support the incorporation of Māori identity, language and culture into the day-to-day practices of our education services,” says Daryn.

“Our success will be measured through achievement data and engagement surveys. It’s vital that we are accountable for seeing improvements across the board. 

“We will be continuing the conversation with whānau, hapū and Iwi about what is important for them in Māori education and te reo Māori. This means that Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo will be living documents that we can update regularly,” he says.

Practical applications

Over the next six months, the Ministry of Education and education agencies will work with early learning services, schools and tertiary education institutions to consider the key themes in Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo and think about how they apply to their work and circumstances. 

This will provide the platform for these education services to develop their own implementation plans, in partnership with their local Iwi and Māori communities. 

This work will build on the requirements set out in the Education and Training Bill (2019) to give practical effect to the Treaty of Waitangi and achieve equitable outcomes for Māori learners. 

The $200 million Māori Education Investment package announced as part of Budget 2020 is designed to support Māori learners and whānau to reconnect and succeed in education, strengthen the integration of te reo Māori into all students’ learning, and boost support for Māori learners and whānau to stay connected with education services following Covid-19.

Find out more about the refreshed Ka Hikitia strategy.(external link)

Find out more about the refreshed Tau Mai Te Reo strategy.(external link)

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BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:28 am, 31 July 2020

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