New $42mil programme to address racism across education system

By Jessica Tyson

Māori learners are expected to benefit from a new $42mil programme which aims to address racism and bias across the education system.

Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says the initiative, Te Hurihanganui, will build on the previously successful Te Kotahitanga programme, a research and professional development programme which supports teachers to improve Māori students' learning.

"We receive consistent feedback that Māori students and their whānau experience racism and bias in schools, impacting on their achievement," says Davis.

According to the Ministry of Education, the latest research found that in 2017 Māori students had the lowest rate of school leavers attaining at least NCEA Level 2 compared to other ethnicities.

"The education system has underserved Māori learners.  Te Hurihanganui will boost the capability of the education workforce to better support Māori achievement, and transform the learning experiences of Māori students," says Davis.

Davis says the initiative will develop high-quality teaching that reflects culture and identity, and strong engagement from whānau and the wider community.

"We will work with schools, whānau and communities at the same time- supporting communities to build strong relationships with schools, and supporting schools to strengthen their daily practice to ensure our system supports Māori success," he says.

Te Hurihanganui is set to be tested across six communities over three years.