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Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:47 pm

Petone school begins programme to help pupils learning in te reo

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Petone principal Iosua Esera

A PETONE principal who has been critical of national standards is hoping a te reo Maori adaptation will better serve his bilingual students.

Petone Central School is the only school in the area that  teaches in te reo as well as English, and principal Iosua Esera is excited to introduce ‘Ngā Whanaketanga Rūmaki Māori’ system into his school.

‘Nga Whanaketanga’ is a programme used to aid learning in te reo Maori between years one to eight.

It was designed for learning in Maori including Maori literacy as well as math skills.

Matua Iosua is optimistic about the first year with the system and is “expect[ing] our Maori students to do very well”.

The new system will suit the dual-language school well where two-thirds of pupils are of Maori descent and  most of whom do their learning in Maori.

Matua Iosua, as he is known at the school, explains his criticism of national standards.

“It was almost seen by people that that was the cure to lifting the performance by [Maori and Pasifika kids] that are not suited by the system.

“It was not the silver bullet it was sold to be.”

The Samoan-born principal feels though that standards are far from the key to a child’s education.

“Quality teaching in the classroom, 90% of the answer lies there.”

The quality of teaching at Petone Central is of high importance to the principal also.

“I’ve got a lot of students here that if we don’t do a good job at school they’ll be on the street.”

The Maori population at Petone Central is much higher than in surrounding schools, the nearest being Wilford with only a third of the school Maori.

Matua Iosua believes that one of the reasons for this is that the school provides a good service for Maori students.

Matua Iosua is proud of his school’s ability to teach in te reo

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  1. Great article Hoani. Always interested in the growth of Te Reo, not being a speaker myself, however, being very proud as I follow the progress of a daughter who has encouraged each of her children all through their lives to retain what is part of our heritage. Shout out to her for her love of Te Reo and to you for finding this story. Keeping one’s nose to the ground in the world of journalism is what it is all about. I frequently come to this site at Whitireia to capture something different for my daily blogging and branding of myself on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I am very proud of the 3 stories I have been able to use this past week. I have been around since long before Whitireia even was thought of. Its current growth makes me very proud to have been brought in the Porirua area where education has always been important..

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