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National’s spokesperson for Pacific Peoples, Alfred Ngaro, says the very real progress being made by Pacific students is being put at risk by the Government backing away from using a targeted approach to their education. 

“We’ve been making great strides in Pacific education,” Mr Ngaro.

“For the first time since NCEA was introduced, the results for Pacific students and Pakeha students are just about on par.

“I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to these students and their families for the hard work they’ve put in to lift their achievement levels.

“These results have been supported by the targeted approach National asked the education sector to take to help lift student achievement. 

“In 2008, Pacific students were achieving just 50 per cent at NCEA level 2, and since we introduced National standards and Better Public Service targets, that figure rose to 81 per cent.

“I’m now incredibly concerned at the approach Labour Minister of Education Chris Hipkins is taking to the sector.

“Mr Hipkins has scrapped National standards and the partnership school model.

“We believe replacing the decile system with one that invests where there is student disadvantage should be a priority.

“I’m also concerned about the fact the Government won’t confirm whether it will support key initiatives to help young Pasifika students.

“Mr Hipkins is looking to get rid of targets, get rid of standards and, in doing so, diminish the potential of success for Pacific People in New Zealand.

“Education policy should be driven by evidence, not ideology. The results achieved by students in the last few years demonstrate that National’s pragmatism was the right way forward in achieving better outcomes.

“Pacific people deserve better, New Zealand deserves better,” Mr Ngaro says.

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