• Wyatt Creech

The Government will spend more than $11 million over the next three years to ease the workload faced by teachers who teach in te reo Maori, Education Minister Wyatt Creech and Associate Education Minister Brian Donnelly announced today.

"From next year teachers in Maori immersion and bi-lingual classrooms will receive more support and resources."

"The Government recognises the extra workload faced by many teachers in Maori immersion settings and is progressively putting together programmes to make it easier for them to do their jobs," the Ministers said.

The additional funding will be used for Maori language classroom resources, specialist support for kura kaupapa Maori, support for Maori medium secondary teachers and specialist Maori medium mathematics and science advisors.

"The extra support will be available in the 1998 school year and is directed at the approximately 2,150 teachers in immersion and bilingual classes. The new initiatives grew out of the work of the Ministerial Consulatative Group on Teacher Workload, which identified Maori teacher workload as a major issue."

The initiatives proposed are:

Increased production of Maori language classroom resources: initially this will pay for the production and distribution of a series of 100 graded reading books in te reo over three years.

Management support for kura kaupapa Maori: specialised school support for kura to help them set up and maintain administrative and management systems.

Kaitautoko (support for Maori medium secondary teachers): specialists who will help Maori medium secondary teachers provide teaching and learning programmes for pupils in immersion or bilingual programmes.

Specialist Maori medium mathematics and science advisors: will help teachers with planning and resources to ease workload and improve the quality of teaching, in the difficult curriculum areas of mathematics and science.

"Maori language teachers will receive extra support at the chalkface. This direct and practical help will ease the workload pressures that many Maori language teachers face," the Ministers said.

"They are over and above initiatives announced in July designed to increase the supply of teachers able to teach well in Te Reo Maori."

The Ministers said that the initiatives announced today will produce local, practical, high quality assistance for Maori teachers, principals and trustees.

"These initiatives, although considerable, are just a start. The Government is still working on solutions to ease the workload pressures on Maori teachers in mainstream schools, and is developing a strategy for Maori Education that aims to eliminate the disparities in achievement and participation beween Maori and non-Maori."