May 14, 2020
Online lessons still no match for kura reo
Te Matawai's next chief executive says tauira are eager to kick lockdown restrictions and return to face to face learning.
Poia Rewi will take up the position in July from Te Atarangi Whiu, the inaugural tumu whakarae for the Māori language promotion agency.
He’s now the dean of the University of Otago’s Te Tumu – School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies.
He says trying to switch to online learning has been tough for the iwi and community-based services that Te Mātāwai serves, with many students finding it harder to engage.
"In our Māori world, we like to be physically present and visible. When I look at things like kura reo, they have been popular because of the physical energy delivered. Some of the feedback we get from our University of Otago students at this stage is engagement (online) is more challenging," Professor Rewi says.
Professor Rewi is also the principal investigator for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga’s three-year Pae Tawhiti investigation into how te reo me ngā tikanga can be normalised, and he says there is good progress on that front.
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