Ngā Haeata Mātauranga: Assessing Māori Education

Summary

The Māori Education Strategy: Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 is an updated strategy building on the changes of The Māori Education Strategy: Ka Hikitia - Managing For Success 2008-2012' (which set the direction for improving how the education system performs for Māori students). This renewed strategy aims to change how the education system performs so that all Māori students gain the skills, qualifications and knowledge they need to enjoy and achieve education success as Māori.

Ngā Haeata Mātauranga provides a national picture of how Māori learners are progressing in each focus area towards the goals laid out in Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success as the strategy is implemented.

Māori Education: A Summary Overview

Creating an education system which expects and supports young Māori to engage and to achieve academic success as Māori is the shared vision of this Government, iwi leaders, education providers and the whānau Māori. Realising this vision will benefit individual young Māori, their whānau and communities, and New Zealand as a whole.

Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success (2013-2017) is the Government's strategy to set the direction to improve how the education system performs for Māori students. This strategy aims to improve how the education system performs so that all Māori students gain the skills, qualifications and knowledge they need to enjoy and achieve education success as Māori.

Ngā Haeata Mātauranga provides a national picture of how Māori learners are progressing in each focus area towards the goals in Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success.

The education system needs to expect and support Māori to engage and to achieve academic success as Māori. This statement reflects a shared vision for education developed by Government, iwi leaders, education providers and whānau and rangatahi Māori. Realising this vision is critical for individual young Māori, their whānau and communities, and New Zealand as a whole.

Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success (2013-2017) identifies critical factors, principles and five focus areas to accelerate success for Māori learners. Since the launch of the first Ka Hikitia strategy - Ka Hikitia – Managing For Success (2008-2012), progress has been made at each level of the education system toward set targets. 

Ngā Haeata Mātauranga provides a national picture of how Māori learners are progressing in each focus area as the strategy is implemented.

Below is a summary of the current situation in each of the five focus areas of Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success.

1. Māori Language in Education

The key outcome for Māori language in education is that all Māori students have access to high quality Māori language in education.  This includes both Māori medium, and Māori language in English medium.  Measures for this focus area include:

  • the availability of Māori medium education,
  • the participation by all students in Māori language in education,
  • achievement in Māori medium education at a schooling level,
  • participation in tertiary Māori language, and Māori language teaching qualifications, both of which are indicative of the availability of high-quality Māori language education in the future.

The availability of Māori medium Early Childhood Education (ECE) and the number of Māori participating in it have both remained relatively stable since 2010. The proportion of Māori participating in Māori medium education (MME) is higher in early learning (22.5%) than in any other sector of education.

The Ka Hikitia target that 22% of all students would participate in Māori language in education in 2015 (immersion levels 1-5, see Table 1) has been met. In 2016 there were 179,825 (22.8%) students participating in Māori language in education.

Looking at only Māori students, 76,789 (40.9%) were participating in Māori language in education in 2016. Almost one-quarter of these (18,054 students, 9.6% of Māori students) were in Māori medium education (MME).  Large numbers of Māori are leaving MME at key transition points in education. Of the 2,628 Māori students that started school in 2014 and attended a kōhanga reo, only 1,275 students (49%) started school in MME. Of the 1,708 students in Year 6 in 2011 that were in MME, only 700 students (41%) were still in MME in Year 9 in 2014.

The proportion of students assessed as manawa ora or manawa toa (at or above) their respective Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori levels has increased for every subject since 2014.  Despite this improvement, achievement remains well below the target of 85%.  Achievement of NCEA Level 1 literacy and NCEA Level 2 was much higher for school leavers from Māori Medium education than for other Māori school leavers.  It should be noted, however, that school leavers from MME made up only 2.9% of all Māori school leavers.

Enrolments and completions in tertiary reo Māori qualifications have both followed an upward trend in recent years. The number and proportion of teachers completing their initial teacher training in Māori Medium has also increased over the previous five years.

2. Early Childhood Education

Progress towards the target of an increased number of services working in partnership with whānau Māori cannot be cannot be assessed at this stage because the information to make a comparison is not available. The Education Review Office are responsible for collating the information for this measure.

Rates of Māori learners participating in ECE have increased from 89.9% during the first phase of Ka Hikitia to 94.6% (14,955 children) in March 2016.

Despite this positive increase, more action still needs to be taken for Māori students to meet the 98% target.

3. Primary and Secondary Education

Overall, across the schooling system, Māori students have exhibited an improvement in achievement and engagement results in comparison to 2014.

In 2015, 65.3% of Māori students in Years 1-8 were at or above the expected National Standard levels for mathematics, reading and writing. This is a 1.2 percentage point increase since 2012.

The achievement gap between Māori and non-Māori has narrowed for all measures of achievement in secondary education. Māori continued to have higher rates of stand-downs and suspensions than non-Māori in 2015, but the age-standardised rate of stand-downs and suspensions has decreased by 0.3 and 0.4 events respectively per 1000 students since 2014.  This is a continuation of the steady downwards trend over the past decade.

4. Tertiary Education

The proportion of the Māori 25 year old population who have completed a qualification through the New Zealand tertiary education system has increased each year since 2007 to 30% in 2014, a total increase of ten percentage points. The achievement gap between Māori and the total population has not changed since 2007.

In September 2015 the Māori employment rate was 57.5% and Māori unemployment was 12.9%, compared to the New Zealand rates of 64.5% and 6% respectively.

However the average employment rate for Māori with tertiary qualifications in the year ending December 2015 was 71%. For this group, employment outcomes have improved since 2012 as the labour market recovers from the contraction of the global financial crisis of 2008, which disproportionately affected Māori.1 The earnings premium for Māori who completed tertiary qualifications is greater than for non-Māori.

At all levels of tertiary qualification except doctorate qualifications, the median earnings of Māori graduates are similar to non-Māori one year after completing study, but by five years post-study non-Māori have higher median earnings. This gap is smallest for graduates with a bachelors/level 7 qualification. Māori doctorate graduates earn more five years post study than non-Māori graduates.

5. Organisational Success

Succeeding in lifting the performance of the education system for Māori, which is the core goal of Ka Hikitia, Accelerating Success, requires coordinated work across the sector in partnership with Māori whānau and iwi. Development and implementation of action plans based on the strategies of Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success (2013-2017)and Tau Mai Te Reo – The Māori Language in Education Framework, and using the Whakapūmautia, Papakōwhaitia, Tau ana: Grasp, Embrace and Realise model for excellent relationships between iwi and the Ministry of Education by all education sector stakeholders is a way to coordinate efforts across the sector.

This has been done in several major and overarching action plans including:

  • The Tertiary Education Commission's (TEC) Tū Māia e te Ākonga 2013–2016: Framework for Māori Learners.
  • Ngā Pou Here-ERO's framework for review.
  • Te Rautaki Māori a te Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa 2012–2017 (NZQA) - the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) strategy to guide action towards fulfilling its contribution to the Government's education sector goal of Māori enjoying and achieving education success as Māori.
  • Education sector contributions to cross-government initiatives, strategies, programmes and plans including (but not limited to) Whānau Ora, Social Sector Trials and He Kai Kei Aku Ringa - The Māori Economic Development Growth Strategy and Action Plan.

The Ministry of Education must also lead the implementation of Ka Hikitia in each sector of the education system.  This report will focus on how this has been done by outlining how the key actions outlined by Ka Hikitia for each area of education have been implemented.

Conclusion

Since the launch of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success (2008-2012) progress has been made at each level of the education system toward the targets set. Participation in Early Childhood Education in particular has been an area of strong growth. Areas where significantly more progress is needed to meet the targets are transitions in Māori Language in Education and achievement in primary education. Increased investment, and ongoing work across the sector under the umbrella strategies of Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success (2013-2017) and Tau Mai Te Reo ensure that efforts to lift the performance of the education sector for Māori will continue.

Technical Notes and Additional Tables

        Last updated February 2016,                  new data available July 2016

Footnote

  1. Statistics New Zealand. (2012). The New Zealand labour market during recession.