Ngā Haeata Mātauranga: Annual Report on Māori Education 2002/03

Publication Details

This report published annually provides an overview of Māori education, from early childhood to the tertiary sector. It includes initiatives specifically directed to Māori. Statistical analysis is also included.

Author(s): Group Māori, Ministry of Education

Date Published: March 2004

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Executive Summary

Ngā Hāeata Mātauranga provides an overview of Māori education, from early childhood to the tertiary sector for the 2002-2003 year. The report provides discussion on key themes influencing the Ministry of Education's (Ministry's) approach towards education including an update on policies and programmes designed to improve Māori educational outcomes.

The report uses best evidence work, including recent research results and the most up-to-date data, to highlight key issues and achievements in Māori education. It also covers a wide selection of policies and programmes in progress that support Māori educational achievement.

The Ministry's guidance and direction for Māori education continues to be informed by the Government's outcomes and targets for Māori education (see Appendix 1), Government Education Priorities, the Ministry's Statement of Intent 2003-2008, the strategic work arising from the Hui Taumata Mātauranga, and education relationships with a small number of iwi/Māori organisations.

Key areas of focus for Māori education are:

  • Strong early learning foundations for Māori children.
  • High levels of achievement by all Māori school leavers.
  • Quality and growth of kaupapa mātauranga Māori.
  • Māori participation in life-long learning.
  • Greater whānau and community involvement in education.
  • Increased Māori authority and involvement in education.

Progress in 2002/2003

In summary, there have been some small yet positive improvements in Māori education since 2001/2002. At a national level, Māori participation in early childhood education increased, slightly more Māori are staying at school longer, more Māori are going directly from school to tertiary education and Māori participation in tertiary education continued to grow.

In terms of achievement, national and international assessment results are showing a wide gap in achievement in New Zealand. Māori continue to perform on average, less well than non-Māori. Raising Māori achievement is complex but research is showing it can be done. In part, it requires educators, whānau and students having high expectations of what they can achieve supported by quality interactions that are focused on learning.

Activity in 2002/2003

Engaging Māori children and whānau in quality early childhood education continues to be a key priority

Research shows that having access to quality education in early childhood offers the greatest benefits for children who are the least likely to attend (children from low socio-economic backgrounds).

Increasing participation in early childhood education (ECE) particularly among Māori children, through the promoting participation programme and the provision of capital funding has continued. A number of initiatives are underway to support quality including increasing the number of qualified teachers*, progressing the ECE learning and exemplar work, establishing centres of innovation, and reviewing the fundamental frameworks on which the current early childhood education system is based.

*Teacher registration targets apply to education and care centres and co-ordinators in home-based care networks. Kindergartens are already subject to teacher registration requirements.

While it is difficult to measure the impact of these initiatives on participation, Māori ECE enrolments did increase slightly across all provider types resulting in an overall increase of 5.7 percent between 2001 and 2002, and a further 3.4 percent between 2002 and 2003. Māori participation in early childhood education is still lower than non-Māori, with more than 33,000 Māori children enrolled in an early childhood education service in 2003.

Ensuring Māori students leave school with the skills, knowledge and qualifications they need to successfully participate in, and contribute to, society continues to be a focus

Ensuring Māori stay at school, are engaged in their learning, and are achieving is a priority. Two factors have been identified as making the biggest difference to engaging students and raising their achievement, quality teaching and the relationship between whānau/home and school.

An extensive programme of work is underway to support quality teaching and learning initiatives. Key areas of focus are raising teacher expectations of Māori learners through better assessment information and research to inform teaching practice, supporting and developing the professional capability of educators working with Māori learners, and increasing the supply of quality Māori teachers.

International and national assessments are helping to monitor the achievement of Māori students. The introduction of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is providing a new set of achievement information that will help students, teachers and parents to monitor student achievement and identify where more help is needed.

Māori students, however, are being suspended, stood-down, truant or excluded from school at higher rates than non-Māori. Māori are also on average more likely to leave school earlier with fewer qualifications than non-Māori. In 2002, 35 percent of Māori left school with no formal qualification.

The kaupapa mātauranga Māori sector has grown, in particular, Māori-medium schools such as kura kaupapa Māori.

Supporting the particular needs of kaupapa Māori education has continued to be a challenge given the limited resources available to support quality Māori-medium options. These resources include a small pool of qualified Māori teachers who can speak te reo Māori fluently and limited teaching and learning materials across all areas of the curriculum (marautanga).

Therefore, the focus has been on building a quality infrastructure to support kaupapa mātauranga Māori including information and communication technology support for wharekura to create access to a wider range of curriculum areas, and continued development of teaching and learning resources and materials. Professional development initiatives including Whakapiki Reo, Te Poutama Tau and Ngā Taumata have continued to support quality teaching within kaupapa Māori settings.

Ensuring Māori are motivated and engaged in life-long learning through a range of high-quality learning opportunities is essential to improving the quality of their lives and their contribution to society

In 2002, Māori had the highest rates of participation in tertiary education of any group at aged 25 and over. Over 29 percent of Māori students attended tertiary for the first time that year, the highest proportion for any ethnic group. Enrolments by Māori at degree level and higher have also grown faster than non-Māori.

Wānanga continued their significant growth, increasing from 26,000 students in 2001, to 45,500 in 2002. Wānanga now represent 11 percent of all students who studied in tertiary institutions in 2002. While there is some concern regarding the exponential growth of students attending wānanga and the impact this has on the quality of programme delivery, the reality is that if Māori providers were not there, many Māori would not be attending tertiary education.

Information on student retention, completion, and progression shows that one-year progression from a wānanga is higher than comparable figures for other provider types. The result is that 26 percent of students who completed a qualification at a wānanga in 2001 went on in 2002 to study at a higher level (compared to 15 percent for the sector as a whole).

Key challenges include far fewer Māori than non-Māori go directly on to tertiary education from school, Māori are more likely to enrol in certificate level tertiary programmes, and many Māori adults have pressing literacy needs.

Parents and whānau play a significant role in supporting their children's learning, whether it is in the home or in a more formal educational setting.

Parents are supporting their children in the home through parent and support development programmes, and in schools through study support centres and parent mentoring initiatives. Partnership approaches have successfully developed between schools, whānau and communities to support educational achievement such as home-school partnerships and school improvement initiatives.

A fundamental aspect of the Government's approach to Māori education is to foster and support the increased involvement and authority of Māori in education at all levels.

Fostering Māori involvement in education allows Māori a greater sense of ownership and shared responsibility for what happens in education. The Hui Taumata Mātauranga process, relationship work with Te Köhanga Reo National Trust, and Te Rūnanganui o ngā kura kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa, and the Ministry/iwi education partnerships are examples of collaborative initiatives to support Māori educational achievement.

Evaluations from two of the more long-standing education partnerships (Te Pūtahitanga Mātauranga and Whaia te iti Kahurangi) outlined in the report highlight some of the significant benefits resulting from these partnerships for the communities involved.

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