Government seeks more Pasifika teachers

Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce says there is a need for more Pasifika registered teachers. Photo / Ben Fraser
Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce says there is a need for more Pasifika registered teachers. Photo / Ben Fraser

The Government aims to increase the number of Pasifika registered teachers by 20 per cent as part of wide-ranging targets to lift the achievement of Pasifika students by 2017.

The Government released a five-year plan today pushing for a dramatic improvement in Pasifika student performance in education - from early childhood to tertiary education.

The plan aims for more Pasifika students to be enrolled in early childhood education in a drive for higher rates of literacy, numeracy and achievement of qualifications in schools.

The drive to improve educational outcomes for Pacific peoples includes lifting the participation rate of Pasifika children in early childhood education from 86.2 per cent to 98 per cent.

The plan, by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and the Ministry of Education, also aimed to increase the number of Pasifika registered teachers working in early childhood education, schools and specialist education services by 20 per cent in five years.

Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce said Pasifika people had a low levels of tertiary qualifications or higher qualifications.

"Higher tertiary level qualifications bring people the greatest benefits, including better income and employment opportunities, when compared with other groups.'

"We need Pasifika learners to be achieving at all levels at least on par with other learners," he said.

By 2030, 25 per cent of Auckland's job entrants would be Pasifika, he said.

"Successful Pasifika people can make a significant contribution to our economy and education is the key to realising this potential."

The Ministry of Education and Pacific Island Affairs will work with the Education Review Office, the Tertiary Education Commission, the New Zealand Teachers Council, NZQA and the New Zealand Trustees Association on the plan.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said she would like to see 85 per cent of Pasifika 18-year-olds to achieve NCEA level 2 or equivalent in five years.

She said the plan would lift participation in quality early childhood education, strengthen engagement in all areas of learning and raise achievement across the whole education system.

Targets

- Increase the proportion on Pasifika children in early childhood education from 86.2 per cent to 98 per cent by 2016

- 85 per cent of early childhood education services reviewed by the Education Review Office as being effective for Pasifika children by 2017

- Increase the number of Pasifika early childhood language services teaching in a Pasifika language or culture over 50 per cent of the time by 2016

- Increase early intervention services from 9 per cent in 2012, to 13 per cent in 2016.

- 85 per cent of year 1-10 Pasifika learners meeting literacy and numeracy expectations, including achieving at or above in national standards across years 1-8 by 2017.

- 95 per cent of all Pasifika school leavers leaving with NCEA level 1 literacy and numeracy by 2017.

- 85 per cent of Pasifika 18-year-olds to achieve NCEA level 2 or equivalent by 2017.

- Increase the number of Pasifika registered teachers working in early childhood education, schools and specialist education services in 2017

- APNZ

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