Two new classrooms for Maori language school

By Liz Wylie

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Principal Stuart Kawau said he is delighted Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tupoho in Castlecliff Whanganui will receive about $700,000 in funding to build two new classrooms.

The announcement was made by Associate Minister of Education Nikki Kaye yesterday. The move is part of a $3 million investment that includes two New Plymouth schools.

Mr Kawau said the school's growth strategy had led to an increase in roll numbers and the classrooms would be welcomed.

The Maori language school has a role of 155 and Mr Kawau said the opening of Te Kopae Reo o Tupoho, Whanganui's first total immersion te reo early childhood on site centre in 2014, meant more students were feeding into the school and he said the roll continued to grow.

Ms Kaye said the roll at the kura had increased by about a quarter between 2012 and 2016.

"We're committed to building new schools and classrooms to meet demand, and ensuring that students can learn in facilities that enable them to achieve to the best of their potential," she said.

Whanganui MP Chester Borrows said the investment acknowledged the importance of kura to the community.

"It will give more whanau the opportunity to choose Maori medium education for their rangatahi.

"This also backs up National's commitment to supporting our Maori students to achieve, and to be able to do so in a kaupapa Maori environment," he said.

The new classrooms will have high standards of lighting, and ventilation and will feature the latest IT infrastructure to support digital learning. Mr Kawau said he had viewed some of the new classrooms in New Plymouth.

"They are a modular design, which means they can be moved around if school roles fluctuate," he said.

The last time new buildings were added to the school was in 2011, when new classrooms designed by Whanganui architect Eddie Belchambers were added to replace prefabs.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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