Waikato- Tainui reo strategy aiding student achievement

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

At Hopuhopu, 65 Māori language teachers from Waikato-Tainui are sharpening their skills at the first of two Te Reo Kaapuia language symposiums being held this year.  It's the third year the tribe has run Te Reo Kaapuia and some of the teachers say the fruits of the wānanga are being reflected in NCEA achievements.

There's no rest for these teachers who are sharpening and broadening their knowledge of Waikato-Tainui dialect and history during the school break.

Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, Teacher, Cassandra Morgan, Pouako, “Our teachers are motivated to support and correctly teach our students to do well in NCEA, regardless of the level.”

Students from six secondary schools in the region achieved 100% pass rates in NCEA Level One, Two and Three last year from Te Wharekura o Rākaumanga, Te Wharekura o Manurewa, Te Wharekura o Te Kaokaoroa o Pātetere, Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha and Te Wharekura o Maniapoto.

Morgan says, “Some of our students have gained NCEA Level Three in past years before they've reached Year 13.”

Melville High School Teacher, Pania Whauwhau says, “By learning together the aims of Waikato-Tainui, what I teach needs to be correct so the students can blossom in their heritage as a descendant of Tainui, Waikato, Maniapoto. Perhaps that's why the schools in our region are excelling.”

Te Reo Kaapuia was the first of many language symposiums launched by Waikato-Tainui in 2015 as part of its Whakatupuranga 2050 strategy to raise the fluency of the Māori language amongst the tribe by 80.

Facilitator Pania Papa says, “My theory is that if the child knows their identity or the history of the area they and their family live in, they will have more insight into the aspects that connect the land to the people amongst our tribe. Through that, they gain more confidence in school.”

The second Reo Kaapuia will be held on July 14.