Tai Wānanga to provide choiceEducation
Education Minister Anne Tolley and Associate Education Minister Dr Pita Sharples have announced the establishment of a new secondary school over two sites in Hamilton and Palmerston North.
Tai Wānanga, a Year 9 to 13 secondary school developed in conjunction with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, will deliver a tikanga-based education programme taught in English, but within a uniquely Māori environment.
Its curriculum will deliver employment-based qualifications as well as NCEA by aligning student learning to a pathway to employment or further study.
The school will function as a standard state secondary school with a special tikanga-based character and will have strong links into vocational tertiary opportunities and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
“Tai Wānanga provides students and parents with a choice for secondary schooling outside what is currently available,” says Mrs Tolley.
“This Government recognises the importance of Māori achieving success as Māori. We also recognise that the mix of English provision, tikanga-based education programmes and support from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will provide an environment that helps students enjoy learning and excellent educational results.
“Keeping young people engaged in education to maximise achievement is a key priority for the Government. The objectives of Tai Wānanga align closely with the Youth Guarantee, one of several initiatives to improve education and training options for young people.”
The Hamilton and Palmerston North campuses will begin with capacity for 80 and 50 students respectively, and will build to a maximum of 120 students at each site.
Dr Sharples says Te Tai Wananga students will benefit from better integration of secondary and tertiary education, and a focus on job qualifications.
“There is evidence that Maori students tend to drop out of education at key transition points. Tai Wānanga’s association with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, which has a proven track record of developing programmes that work for Māori students, should help those students keep going through,” he says. “It’s an example of rangatiratanga in Maori education, where Maori create their own solutions to problems.
“Tai Wānanga will focus on delivering for Māori students, but its philosophy, culture and emphasis on success will be attractive to many students looking for an alternative state secondary school,” Dr Sharples says.
An establishment Board of Trustees will be appointed shortly to develop school policy, appoint staff and advertise for student enrolments. The Palmerston North campus will open in Term One 2011, while the opening date for the Hamilton campus has still to be confirmed.