News that the Government has failed to fund a programme that supports Māori students into science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) subjects is extremely disappointing and shows a repeating pattern of de-prioritisation of our Māori students, National’s Māori Education spokesperson Jo Hayes says.
“The failure of the Government to support the popular, successful Pūhoro STEM Academy programme shows how it is continuing to fail Māori students. The Government must prioritise investing in STEM – particularly for our Māori students.
“With the increasing advances in science globally and the changing nature of jobs it is hard to see why funding for a programme like this can’t be prioritised.
“Not only has the Government failed to support this programme it has continually failed to prioritise Māori education. It has scrapped partnership schools which were improving Māori educational outcomes, axed national standards which highlighted struggling students so they could be supported
“Papers that were released recently also show that a lower proportion of Māori are accessing fees-free to take up tertiary study meaning that Māori students are at a disadvantage right through the education system under this Government.
“The Labour-led Government have also scrapped the Aspire scholarships which provided huge opportunities for young Māori to get ahead in education.
“Under National Māori students achieving NCEA Level 2 increased from 44 per cent to over 74 per cent - an increase of around 30 per cent. We are extremely concerned that these improvements will go backwards under this Government.
“The Associate Minister of Education who has the responsibility for Māori Education should prioritise this area. He should ensure that the Ministry meets with the provider early in the new year to try and ensure it gets the support it needs.”