Valuing identity, language and culture key for Pacific education success

  • Hon Jenny Salesa

Pacific learners want to see their identities, languages and cultures valued in the classroom, according to a new report.

“The report is clear that it’s important for our diverse Pacific learners to see their identities, languages and cultures in the classroom, and this is not always happening,” Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says. 

The Pacific Voices Summary Report highlights what’s important to Pacific people in building a more robust education system, and has come out of the Education Conversation | Kōrero Mātauranga online survey. Over 16,000 people responded to the survey, with 872 (or 5 per cent) identifying as being from Pacific communities.

“We also heard that being confident in who you are and where you come from are key to succeeding as a Pacific person, as is families and communities being central to the learning journeys of their children,” says Minister Salesa. 

“There is still a lot to do to ensure that the education system is working for all Pacific learners and their families. I really value the voices and experiences of our Pacific communities, and want to partner with them to ensure all Pacific learners and families are safe, valued and equipped to achieve their education aspirations. To start working differently and reciprocally, we want to collaborate with you to design the next Action Plan for Pacific Education.

The Ministry of Education is holding a series of fono with Pacific communities across the country to work on the Action Plan. Fono dates are available here.

The Pacific Voices Summary Report is available in English, Gagana Sāmoa, Lea Faka Tonga, Te Reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani, Vagahau Niue and Te Gagana Tokelau.