It's all very well for Sonya Bateson (Opinion, September 12) to promote te reo Māori being taught in schools, but I think her vision may be somewhat blinkered.
First, suggesting Māori be relegated to yesteryear as the only alternative to teaching it in schools is a bit drastic.
Let's make learning Māori a choice. While there is a growing interest in it, I don't see why anyone should be forced to learn it when it really serves no practical purpose other than to gain a greater appreciation of Māori culture.
German, Latin and French are important because they are languages that form the roots of our English language.
Japanese was introduced into the New Zealand education curriculum when Japan started to become an increasingly important trading partner.
Mandarin is useful for those who have commercial ties with China.
Māori is not going to help anyone with dealings overseas, certainly not when it comes to forming commercial ties with international trading partners.
Knowing the Māori language is something one can brag about with a bit of pride within the bounds of our nation. But there's a whole other world out there.
Let's not got too myopic in our zeal to support our other language. (Abridged)
But history is a must
I find it incredible that New Zealand's history has not been compulsory in our schools. This is akin to British kids never having been taught 200 years of British history - absolutely astonishing.
More dangerous is the fact that, like America, much of the history assumed or believed by people is the distorted view given by Hollywood, the same thing is probably happening in our country.
Incorrect or distorted history is one of the most dangerous aspects of democracy.
We have to be open for all to see - regardless of the label that may go with it. History is important and should have always been taught in our schools.
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