September 12, 2018
Resourcing no excuse for reo shortfall
Veteran educationalist Sir Toby Curtis says a current shortage of resources should not be used as an excuse not to ramp up the teaching of te reo Māori.
The Greens have called for te reo Māori to be made a core subject, but critics have questioned whether therer would be enough teachers to either teach the language or teach in it.
Sir Toby says like any major project it would need to be done in stages.
"You don't need to be a brilliant educator, teacher to start teaching people how to pronounce place names properly and how to respect their classmates by pronouncing their Māori names correctly," he says.
Sir Toby would like to see Māori spoken every day by every Māori and anyone else who wishes to participate.
Primary teachers union NZEI Te Riu Roa has also welcomed the renewed call from the Green Party for universal te reo Māori.
Its Mātua Takawaenga Laures Park wants to take it a step further by starting te reo Māori in early childhood education.
She says the biggest difference from having universal provision would be the well-being of tamariki Māori, but all children should have the opportunity to learn te reo.
There is strong public support for te reo Māori to be a core curriculum subject, and it is time for the Government to act – including by putting in the resources to recruit and upskill teachers.
Last year Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori released a road map for making te reo a core curriculum subject beginning in Year 1 in 2020 until it is included in all levels up to Year 13 by 2037.
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