Kura Kaupapa Māori now have their own curriculum

By Heeni Brown

After 30 years of existence Kura Kaupapa Māori now have their own curriculum.

That means, the Te Marautanga o Te Aho Matua launched in Kaitaia today will replace the New Zealand curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for those Kura Kaupapa Māori that adhere to Te Aho Matua.

More than 70 Kura Kaupapa Māori schools are celebrating their 30th anniversary.

At this AGM, a new milestone is made with the introduction of their own unique Te Marautanga o Te Aho Matua curriculum.

Toni Waho says, “Te Marautanga o Te Aho Matua signals that here is our curriculum that looks specifically at the teachings of Te Aho Matua in all Kura Kaupapa Māori.”

The principles of Te Aho Matua are unique to Kura Kaupapa Māori in that they acknowledge a holistic Māori approach as an integral part of learning.

Today the new curriculum replaces the New Zealand curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Waho says, “It focusses solely on Te Aho Matua, so that the essence of the Māori language, the customs and Māori kaupapa sit right with the Māori language for our students.”

While Kura Kaupapa Māori have their new resources, that doesn't mean the fight ends there.

Cathy Dewes says, “It wasn't right for us to follow the Whanaketanga Rūmaki Māori, but in terms of the best for our students, where is the support from the government and discussions on what the best way is to assess our children in our schools.”

Under the Government's Budget in 2011, Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa were given $3 million over three years to develop Te Marautanga o Te Aho Matua curriculum.

Te Rūnanga Nui says Te Marautanga o te Aho Matua will continue to be developed and trialed.

Dewes says, “Our Kura Kaupapa Māori are still impoverished, so we have more work to come in the next 30 years ahead of us, that's getting it right in all of our Kura Kaupapa Māori.”