A new vision for Te Kōhanga Reo

By Regan Paranihi

Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust and the Ministry of Education have launched a new initiative that refers to disabled children as 'superheroes'.  It's a strategy to help kohanga reo and Māori-medium teachers help the children excel in education.

Kōhanga reo teachers are calling for teaching strategies and resources to help disabled children within a Māori forum.

Renata Kururangi of Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust says, "They are looking for help and assistance to raise teaching standards in kōhanga reo all over the country."

Tama-Ariki is an initiative that outlines the importance of children with disabilities.

A positive frame of mind is important "to make things a bit easier for the teaching, knowing that this could be the solution for these children- to help them achieve what they want to achieve," says Kururangi.

The kōhanga reo hope their vision for both teachers and students will blossom through the framework.

"We hope to see the pros of this initiative, that our children will grow up [and] will try and find a way to develop many skills."

Kururangi says Tama-Ariki will benefit many teachers around the country.

"We'll look at some of the ways teachers can teach which can be implemented into their kōhanga."

Carmen Fairlie of the Ministry of Education says that, while teachers and whānau are the ones driving the initiative, children are at its centre.

"The children are the seeds, the children are our future."

The official launch will take place in Te Teko next month.