Good news: improving educational outcomes for Maori kids

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At NCEA level one, M?ori students at M?ori schools, had an 86 percent achievement rate, compared to 73 percent for M?ori students at mainstream schools.

The gap widens at level two, or Year 12, and by level three, the achievement rate at M?ori schools is almost twice that at mainstream schools.

Song is just one of the learning techniques used throughout M?ori schools.

It’s believed teaching M?ori students their culture and traditions is a big part of success.

“By focusing on the language, the traditions, the culture, the teachings of our ancestors, they develop a strong standing in this world,” says kura principal Cathy Dewes.

Over the years, student achievement levels at M?ori schools have seen a consistent increase.

“Despite higher student achievement figures for M?ori schools, most M?ori children attend mainstream schools,” says Education Minister Hekia Parata.

Dr Dewes says it’s a result of P?keha colonisation of Maori.

“Most M?ori think we need to be more P?keha,” she says.

For University Entrance, M?ori school students are still well above, but figures for students from both types of schools remain at the low end of the scale.

“Mainstream schools are just as good, but we need to encourage them to support the M?ori development of the child,” Dr Dewes says.

So, it seems that Maori kids who are receiving Maori immersion education do better, on average. That’s great. It demonstrates that there are means and methods to get Maori educational outcomes that can even exceed non-Maori ones.

So what do you think the next step is?

Some M?ori schools believe the data backs up their call for more funding and resources from the Government.

Gordon Bennett. More money. Why is it always more money? They are clearly achieving the results with their current resources and money. Are they really saying that more money will deliver even better outcomes? I would have expected there to be a call for these successful programmes to be implemented wherever they are needed, not to pour more money into the ones that are already working.

As it turns out Hekia Parata is on the same page.

But the Minister disagrees, pointing out M?ori schools already receive more funding than mainstream schools

The real challenge is to identify the core reason for the better performance, and then implement this to lift educational standards for all Maori children. A future where Maori children outperform non-Maori children is a good future for all of us.


– Maiki Sherman, Newshub