New funding round for Pacific education

Pacific Education will be the big winner of another funding round announced by the Associate Minister of Education, Aupito William Sio today.

“It’s great to make available another 12 million dollars to  communities, providers and educators looking to develop solutions for Pacific learners and families through the Pacific Education Support Fund and Innovation Funds. I am excited that already more than 330 applications totalling 23.3 million were applied for last year and it looks like the next round will be just as big.

“I encourage our Pacific providers, community based-organisations, churches, schools, families and groups to submit applications for round two funding to support the needs of our aiga and their families.

“We all know that COVID-19 has made things harder for some Pacific learners and families, including putting pressure on their wellbeing and ability to engage in education,” says Aupito William Sio.

In 2021/22, the Support Fund  allocates $4m to Auckland Pacific community organisations and Pacific providers to respond to immediate education and wellbeing needs. A further $2m has been allocated to the Waikato, Hawkes Bay-Tairāwhiti, Wellington, Canterbury and the Chatham Islands to support Pacific families to continue to pursue education success and to overcome challenges presented by COVID-19.

The Innovation Fund of $6 million is also available in 2021/22. Some $3.5m of this funding supports projects to develop innovative practices to meet the wellbeing and curriculum needs of Pacific learners. A further $2.5m is made available for projects specifically targeted at innovative practices in Pacific bilingual and immersion education in early learning services and schools.

“I am particularly delighted that this has already meant one Pacific educator, Moana Tautua is now funding a Pasefika mentor in Auckland schools while in the Waikato we will  employ a full-time person to empower, support and mentor 50 Year 13 Pacific students from five local High Schools. These students are making the transition to Tertiary education.”

Applications received for both lots of funding have had a strong focus on wellbeing and mentoring and support for both learners and families to help them to understand education and the school, with the connection often through identity, language, and culture.  These include engaging mentors, developing cultural knowledge and practice of staff, providing workshops for families and working with parents, learners and schools to set goals, plan career pathways and teach how to empower and support success.

“I want to acknowledge the many Pacific communities, churches and education providers who have applied and been successful in their application for round one. It is encouraging to see the results of investing regionally in a range of services and programmes that will strengthen and support Pacific learners and their families. This will ensure our Pacific aiga stay connected to education,” says Aupito William Sio.

Note to Editors:

The link to the Pacific Education Funds can be found here: www.education.govt.nz/pacific-education-funds