Topics: Education, Kapa Haka, Te Reo Māori

Teachers say put more reo in schools

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Teachers are calling to put te reo and kapa haka into school following the 'Education matters to me' report that was released by the Children's Commissioner which said some students experience racism in school.

Lewis Anderson says te reo should be introduced in all mainstream schools, "We're teaching our children te reo Māori me ōna tikanga and it's proving to be a good support for them for all subjects across the board."

Ngā Puna o Rehu tutor, Tiakina Te Kare says, "Make kapa haka known in more schools and more compulsory for others and give others more opportunity to learn te reo Māori in kura."

Nearly a quarter of more than 1,600 primary and secondary school students surveyed by the Office of the Children's Commissioner and the School Trustees Association were Māori.  The claims are supported by rangatahi who say there needs to be more Māori in kura.

One student says, "We should cherish the language always, so it can be a normal, everyday thing."

It's a culture that is felt in the hearts of all no matter where they come from.  One girl expressed that even though she isn't Māori she still enjoys it.

Another student says, "It's a good thing that we as Māori get to spend time here 'cos it's our whenua that our tūpuna left for us."

The consensus at Polyfest is to put more reo and culture into all schools.