April 01, 2014
Literacy challenge for iwi
The coordinator of a project to lift Maori literacy says it’s an area where iwi can have a significant effect on the lives of their people.
An international survey in 2006 found 70 percent of Maori adults did not meet minimum world standards for literacy and numeracy.
Keith Ikin from Waikato University ‘s National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults says when Maori kids drop out of school without NCEA level one, it’s likely they can’t read and write well enough to meet the demands of the modern workforce.
He says the investment iwi put into education tends to go to the minority of their people who would go to university anyway, ignoring the needs of those who have already been failed by the system.
"It’s a big reason why so many of our people aren't accessing opportunities, its a big reason why our people are stuck in the 'hands on' type of occupation and arent able to move in to more skilled opportunities in the workforce " he says.
Keith Ikin says adult literacy has been the poor cousin of the tertiary education sector, but tackling it will require coordinated action by government, employers, tertiary institutions, communities and iwi.
The National literacy centre is holding hui round the country over the next three months to develop the strategy.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH KEITH IKIN CLICK ON THE LINK
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