Report criticises lack of progress in Māori education

By Heta Gardiner

A report has come out slamming the lack of progress amongst Māori students in our education system. The report which was from a five-year audit of Māori education criticised the 'Ka Hikitia' policy which aims to improve Māori achievement. However, a Kura Kaupapa Māori principal that spent 17 years teaching in mainstream says that the answer to Māori education woes is within full immersion learning.

Another report with sadly the same result.  Principal Mark Bradley thinks there is a clear solution.    

“It's easy. Let Māori look after Māori,” says Bradley.

For the past five years, there has been an audit of Māori education. According to the final report of that audit, progress is still slow on improving Māori education results. The "Ka Hikitia" policy was singled out as an example of that slow progression.

“Some aspects of the government's initiatives are good,” says Bradley, “But the bottom line is, a lot of the money is equating to zero benefit.”

Bradley says that the initiatives need to be more focused.

“The government says that 'Ka Hikitia' should lift Māori achievement in a Māori way. Not in a mainstream way,” says Bradley.

Statistics show that Māori students in full immersion schools get better results than those in mainstream. But those results are largely neutralised because most Māori students are in mainstream schools.

“Yes most of the Māori students are in mainstream, that's why an investment needs to be to bring those students over to full immersion,” says Bradley.

 The Minister of Education was not available for comment.