Crown failing kohanga reo - report
Thu, 18 Oct 2012 5:19a.m.
The Government's early childhood education system is failing to support Maori culture-oriented pre-schools, the Waitangi Tribunal has found.
On Thursday the tribunal released its report on a claim filed by the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board.
The board accused the Crown of treating kohanga reo as early education providers, thereby undermining its kaupapa, or philosophy, and halving attendance rates.
The claim was heard under urgency earlier this year.
The tribunal has found that the early childhood education system, in particular its funding formula, quality measures and regulatory regime, has failed to adequately sustain the specific needs of kohanga reo as an environment for promoting Maori language and whanau development.
It said these failures constituted breaches of the principles of partnership and equity in the Treaty of Waitangi.
Further, the tribunal said the already difficult relationship between the Crown and the board was worsened by the fact the Government failed to consult the board on the Early Childhood Education Taskforce report.
The board had claimed the report, and any Government policy based on it, would cause irreparable harm to the kohanga reo movement.
The tribunal has called on the Crown to apologise for the breaches that have occurred.
The tribunal also wants urgent attention given to the need for additional funding so kohanga reo can comply with new early childhood regulations by the 2014 deadline.
Education Minister Hekia Parata acknowledged the report and said the findings will be assessed and considered alongside work on funding and participation in early childhood education.
"I will be seeking a meaningful and constructive way forward," Ms Parata said.
"The Government continues to acknowledge the important role kohanga reo play in education," she said.
In a statement, Te Kohanga Reo said the report "vindicates" its claims.
"The tribunal has found that the Government's policy does not adequately provide for the unique role and contribution of kohanga," the board's co-chair Tina Olsen-Ratana said.
The board welcomed the tribunal's call for Prime Minister John Key to appoint an independent adviser to oversee and implement its recommendations.
It was the first time the tribunal had made such a recommendation.
"This demonstrates the significance of the kohanga report," the board said.
It has written to Mr Key, Ms Parata and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to request a meeting to discuss the recommendations.
The board is also calling for a moratorium on any new policy decisions by the Ministry of Education that impact kohanga reo in the meantime.
NZN / 3 News
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1/11/2012 4:25:24 p.m.
hamuti rukaha wrote:
The Isreali had their language taken from them, that is they lost their language, principally because Hitler and the extermination their race. Since Israel was declared a state in 1948, the languaged has been restored. Why not here ?I te mutunga iho, kei a tatou te tikanga !(At the end of the day, its up to us !)
27/10/2012 6:23:23 p.m.
Some languages are alive, others are dead. The Maori language is on life support. The plan appears to be that after enough support, this language will be able to breathe on its own. however languages are a thing of the people and if people don't want to speak it, nothing can change that. Perhaps we should also ask ourselves, what's the point? How can this language ever solve Maori problems? There seems to be a notion that if Maori would only use this language all their other problems with fall into line. I don't any logical way that could happen.
25/10/2012 6:53:14 a.m.
Wonderful explanation by Mei Chen highlighting equality is severely compromised favouring discrimination as its replacement. We Proud NZers have certainly missed the plot on this one and should remind our government to honour it's obligation to the Treaty. Nothing more needs to be said really unless of course you object to the meaning of equality and support the view to disallow Maaori the same rights and privileges that we NZers are entitled to, to preserve our own identity on land that our forefathers stole from Maaori for us to live wholesome lives. That's a sad state of affairs if that's the accepted view of the majority. There's something obviously wrong with this picture.
21/10/2012 7:46:55 p.m.
Parents have a right to choose the environment of learning their children attend whether it be gender/religous/cultural based etc rather than imposing a one fits all/assimilation approach. Being beaten by adults at school as a child in your own country if you were heard/caught speaking your mother tongue does have long lasting effects to a child/ren's sense of being. To add insult to injury this approach was promoted/accepted by the education system at the time. Both my children are articulate/fluent in both their mother tongue & english as they have been nutured in a safe/appropriate learning environment of my choice initially outside the system. As adults now they have also embraced other languages & a respect of other/different cultures & backgrounds. Apart from their formal qualifications, it has become evident their broad knowledge of languages & understanding/respect of other cultures has stood them in good stead both on a personal level & in the local/global workplace over & above those who appear to be restricted due to their tunnel vision approach/background. As taxpayers with no dependent children, I support choices of education, the future pay offs are huge on all levels. Perhaps those commenting/who are struggling with this may need to take heed given the population increase/power base will change where the current majority will be the minority in this country & the roles will be reversed. I wonder if we should ensure everyone is assimilated/forced into an education system that suits the majority then....
21/10/2012 4:16:15 p.m.
Sorry Kathy but you have your facts wrong yet again. English as a language is spoken or understood by 3 quarters of the world either as a first or second language of the user. There are many types of English, but all are basically the same meaning wise. Chinese on the other hand has many dialects not easily understood by each other let alone the rest of the world. While Spanish is much the same all over and actually the second most understood language world wide after English. Live and learn.
20/10/2012 3:37:41 p.m.
Time to throw out english I think, as Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world.
Fully 1 third of all people in the world speak chinese which by Snowies definition makes English a waste of time.
Spanish being the second most spoken language in the world.
English is quickly falling down the list as well with Hindi fast overtaking it.
So lets just throw english out of the window now.
20/10/2012 11:58:27 a.m.
Re Alison..Ranting is exactly what you are doing here.Yes we are all NZers, yes we should help struggling people regardless of race but not to the point they never try and help themselves.These are opinions put on here because its what people believe and it's not necessary to make such personal attacks if they don't agree with you.
19/10/2012 1:08:12 p.m.
This whole Te Reo gravy train is just another part of the scam!
To anyone who knows anything at all about the evolution of languages, it is self evident that only the fittest languages ultimately survive. Language is purely a sub-set of wider evolutionary trends which govern life on this planet.
By virtue of the fact that Te Reo is having to be artificially propped up, it is clear that in time it will die out. It is not in existence because it is needed. It exists because a few Maori elite want to preserve the past for a whole range of political, social and financial reasons.
The basic Maori language is not fit for todays sophisticated and technical world and the end result, in 50 to 100 years, will be that we will have poured a lot of money and resources down a bottomless pit and there will be absolutely nothing to show for it.
19/10/2012 11:46:32 a.m.
You cant let these te reo schools shut the kids that go to them go, need to go so when they grow up and are failing in the real world maori can claim more money because the system failed them!
19/10/2012 2:51:28 a.m.
TeReo 101 for all the grumpy myopic english speakers out there.........Kohanga Reo = language nest. I would take from that.... the purpose is to foster the language of the individual's culture. Not provide "early childhood education" per se.
Two very different tasks. You also might enjoy reading a little research regarding the development of children's brains and the benefits of learning two languages while young [under 7] and the brain still in a plastic state [scientific term, not a result of playing with plastic bags]. Oh yes, and the Government of the day refused to fund or endorse Maori language learning centres, so Maori "got of their collective butts" as you term it and created it themselves. If you think it unneccessary however, next time the ALLBLACKS play, please turn down the sound and do the haka at home in ENGLISH! that should enlighten you.
P.S. I am a grumpy 50+ Irish Kiwi Caucasian with a lifetime of living here
and I can't speak a word of Irish, why? Oh maybe it's because it is not a language of the real world? Of commerce? Of finance? Who cares, it is part of my culture and ancestry and I have lost it. Hope it doesn't happen to your children, anyone for mandarin lessons? I hear the chinese are quite keen to invest in New Zealand.
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