Topic: Education

Kura Māori principals hit back at recent low decile stats

updated By Harata Brown

Principals of two kura Māori have hit back at recent data which suggests that children who go to low decile schools are more likely to leave with no qualifications than those at high decile schools.

Te Wharekura o Manurewa is a Decile 1 school but its students education results are bucking the trend.

“Our results suggest that it doesn't matter whether our children come from poor communities, it is evident that they are achieving in NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3," explained Principal Māhia Nathan.

Recent reports from the NZ Herald suggests that students from decile 1 to 3 schools are four times more likely to leave school without any qualifications than those from decile 8 to 10 schools.  But figures from the Ministry of Education paints a different story.  

A statement provided says:

"School leaver achievement for 2014 shows that 96% of students from schools in the highest deciles left school with at least a Level 1 qualification.  In the lowest two deciles they maintain that there is a 20 percent difference."

According to a representative of Te Rūnanganui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori (TRNKKM), despite the decile level Kura Kaupapa operate in, their education model, Te Aho Matua, proves to be successful. 

TRNKKM Committee member Rawiri Wright says, "More than 85% of our students achieve NCEA 1, 2,3 and University Entrance."

Rawiri Wright, who is also the Principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, a Decile 3 school, says the education model for Māori in mainstream needs serious attention. 

He says, "Both Māori and Pasifika students are failing within (mainstream) schools.  I am saying there is something seriously wrong with the Education System there."

Nathan believes, "That the system for our Māori students needs to change, and again, it doesn't matter if they come from disadvantaged backgrounds.  They will achieve."