The Government’s education policies demonstrate that Māori are merely an afterthought rather than central to decision-making, National’s new Māori Education Spokesperson Jo Hayes says.
“Scrapping National Standards and closing partnership schools will risk undoing the significant gains made by Māori students in the last few years and take us back to the days when Māori were taught at and not with.
“National Standards were particularly important for those students who were falling behind, many of whom tend to be Māori, because they told teachers and principals where students were at in their learning so that they could provide the right support to lift their achievement.
“But even with the help of National Standards, some Māori students continued to struggle in mainstream education. That’s why the previous Government introduced partnership schools.
“These schools have made a positive difference for many young Māori who have failed in mainstream education, so it’s disappointing that Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis has turned his back on them and is sitting back while his Government shuts them down.
“He should know better that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for Māori and that’s why it’s so important to try new things when it’s clear the mainstream system isn’t effective.
“Partnership schools put the Government to shame when it comes to Māori education – while the Government treats Māori like an afterthought, these schools put Māori achievement front and centre.
“We cannot afford to have a drop in Māori education participation and achievement. It’s time the Government put its ideologies aside and started focusing on what works for Māori.”