Manukura students excel with 100% pass rate in NCEA

By Kimiora Kaire-Melbourne
Manukura student Phillip Ratima.

Phillip Ratima is off to Massey University after receiving his NCEA level 3 results yesterday. He attributes his success to attending Manukura, a kura Māori that fosters academic and sporting excellence for rangatahi.

Phillip is just one of 160,000 students from across the country to receive his long-awaited NCEA results yesterday.

He excelled at level 1 and 2 and is thrilled with the outcome of his last year at secondary school.  He says, “I was pretty happy because all the hard work I’ve been putting in over the past year really paid off for me, especially getting into university.

"I’ll be studying at Massey University doing a Bachelor of Sport and Health Science degree.  I’ve always had aspirations of being a Māori sports doctor.  I want to give back to the community I’ve been raised in.

"But that success doesn’t just come off the back of my own hard work- it also comes off the back of the teachers and the students at school and the environment that we set ourselves at Manukura.”

Manukura is in Palmerston North and has a current role of 172 students.

Phillip is a product of the school's success.  Since its inception 12 years ago, its passing rates have been amongst the top in the country, and this year 100% of their students have passed.

Manukura Principal, Nathan Durie says, “All of our students have gotten through, so we have a 100% pass rate at this stage in levels 1, 2 and 3 for all of our students.  We’re a small school, we know our students and so we are pleased.  We have some students here that would probably be written off in other instances or written themselves off.  Getting those students over the line or to improve from an achieved to a merit or excellence level- those are the things that are more important for us.  This is a common trend for us now.

"Well done to the students and to those staff who have allowed it to become the norm.  What we’re doing might seem special outside but it’s the norm here that kids are expected to be successful.”

Phillip says, “The only other schools really out there are mainstream schools and I really think I would have struggled in a school like that because of the way I was brought up through kura kaupapa and speaking Māori.  I don’t think I would have achieved as high in a mainstream school.

"It’s definitely the teachers because we have one-on-one sessions with our teachers that give us a bit of a headstart on subjects- especially for those that can’t really keep up in the classes.  But it’s also the people you surround yourself with, the students and the friends you make. It’s all about making the right choices in the end.”

Principal Durie says, “In the context of Māori education there’s a clear theme there that Māori are delivering the best outcome for Māori students.  It doesn’t guarantee that all Māori kura are doing a good job, but what we know is that the best performing schools for Māori students in this country are schools that are run and driven by our own and so I think that there are some real positives in that because amongst us we have the capacity.”