June 07, 2013
Immersion sector asking for charter trial
Māori Party Co-leader and Associate Education Minister Pita Sharples is rejecting criticism that charter schools will take resources away from kura kaupapa Māori.
The Māori Party backed the law to create publicly-funded private schools despite opposition from leading Māori academics and a warning from Mana leader Hone Harawira that existing immersion schools would be put at risk.
Dr Sharples says the Kura Kaupapa Rūnanga along with Kohanga Reo board members and iwi leaders are asking for the trial.
"When we started kura a lot of people were against us. We got death threats even. A lot of Māori said it won't work and you can't do that. Well know there are over 100 schools that are total immersion Māori and it's really good, so you've got to try things," he says.
Dr Sharples says the failure rate in schools for Māori is still too high, so other approaches must be considered.
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