Programme aims to meet local needs

By Dana Kinita

Education Minister Hekia Parata will be in Rotorua on Friday to officially launch a programme which aims to improve educational outcomes for the district's children.

Excel Rotorua is one of 10 new Social Sector Trials recently announced by the Government.

It is the only one which focuses primarily on education and could provide a model for the future delivery of education services in New Zealand.

Ms Parata, accompanied by Rotorua MP Todd McClay, will launch the education initiative at Rotorua Primary School on Friday and will then speak at an education forum for local educators and community leaders.

The programme is being led by Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Iho Ake Trust which is the non-government organisation contracted by the Government to deliver the initiative.

The trust, which has been working in the education sector in Rotorua for many years, has appointed Leith Comer to act as project leader and bring community leaders and government agencies together to help establish an action plan for Rotorua.

"We have been given permission to think differently about how we deliver education services to our children and young people and we want Rotorua to be a great place for education," Mr Comer said.

"We will need the community's help to agree to the characteristics of 'a great place for education' and help us build towards that from what is currently successful.

"At the centre of the project will be learners excelling and that will mean different things to different people.

"Excel Rotorua is a chance for the city to build on what is already good about local education and find local solutions for local issues and needs - to make Rotorua a great place for education for the betterment of the city as a whole."

Excel Rotorua will focus on five key outcomes: Increased participation in quality early childhood education; Improved literacy and numeracy achievement; Increasing success at NCEA Level 2 (or equivalent); Establishing successful pathways between education providers and career pathways; Reduced risky behaviour.

The initial phase of the two-year Excel Rotorua initiative will focus on exploring successful early childhood education, primary/intermediate, secondary and tertiary programmes and services, with a view to identifying the potential for these to be extended.

Ultimately, new services may also be established to enable improvement in some areas or address issues specific to Rotorua.

- Rotorua Daily Post

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf02 at 26 Oct 2014 20:29:13 Processing Time: 581ms