Ero Reviews To Promote Action On Maori Education

  • Parekura Horomia
Maori Affairs

The Education Review Office is to play a more active role in the Government’s bid to close the gaps in educational achievement between Maori and non-Maori.

ERO Minister Trevor Mallard and Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia today outlined a range of questions to be included, where appropriate, in ERO reviews.

The Ministers said that the gap between the educational progress and achievements of Maori and other learners was intolerable and the Government believed the school review process could play an important part in turning that around.

From next year a range of evaluative questions would be included, as appropriate, in ERO reviews in 2000 to provide more information on the education of Maori students, and reinforce the responsibility of school boards of trustees to eliminate any barriers to students’ learning.

Board of trustees will be asked:

* What specific information does the school collect regarding the educational achievement of Maori learners?

* Where disparity exists between the educational performance of Maori and other learners, what has the school identified as being the barriers to educational achievement of Mäori learners?

* What programmes has the school implemented that are designed to overcome the barriers to learning experienced by Maori?

* What assessment criteria does the school use to determine how effective their programmes are for Maori learners?

Furthermore there will be a focus on Maori language immersion programmes relating to the quality of Maori language.

The assessment of the quality of Maori language involves more than knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and how to pronounce words. Competent speakers should also be able to effectively and appropriately perform a range of tasks and functions using Maori, and be comfortable using Maori language in a variety of genre. The following questions will therefore be included in the review of total immersion and bilingual programmes

* What procedures does the school have in place to track the progress learners are making in improving pronunciation, increasing vocabulary and increasing the range of grammatical structures accurately used?

* What assessment procedures are used to track the tasks and functions learners are able to appropriately perform using Maori language?

* What programmes are in place to ensure that learners are exposed to a range of Maori language genre; for example, humour, oratory, drama, prose, poetry, conversation and ritual?

Trevor Mallard said:

"Closing the gaps in educational achievement is a major focus for the Government and I am pleased that the Education Review Office will play an active role in working towards that aim."

Parekura Horomia said:

"We all know that Maori are not achieving as well as we should be. What is important about this initiative is that it will provide us with better information on where the barriers are so that we can develop workable solutions," Trevor Mallard said.

Contact: Trevor Mallard – 025 461 671