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In 2018, we had a series of fono to hear from Pacific communities about what is important to them in education.

In 2018, we had a series of fono to hear from Pacific communities about what is important to them in education. You can read a summary document of those findings here:

Pacific Fono Summary Findings [PDF 68KB]

We know that Pacific communities are hugely diverse and the experiences of those of you in Oamaru can look quite different to our Pacific communities in Auckland. To better understand this, we have also analysed and summarised the themes from each region and from our youth and learning support groups.

Auckland report [PDF 810KB]
Christchurch report [PDF 623KB]
Dunedin report [PDF 630KB]
Hamilton report [PDF 621KB]
Oamaru report [PDF 706KB]
Wellington report [PDF 669KB]
Learning support report [PDF 733KB]
Youth report [PDF 716KB]

Across the country the key things you have told us were:

  • Wellbeing is hugely important. Strong positive relationships support wellbeing and so too does healthy food and stable housing. Experiences of bias, racism and bullying are negatively impacting our young people’s mental health. For Pacific people wellbeing relies not only on being physically and emotionally safe but being culturally safe in our schools, homes and even online.

  • You understand the importance of teachers building good relationships with our young people. Teachers need to be engaging in the way they teach and they need to listen to students and draw on their interests in the classroom. You want teachers to understand our children in the context of their Pacific heritage and what that means for them and you want to see a teaching workforce that reflects the diversity of our Pacific communities.

  • Our young people want to be leaders and co-designers in what is taught in our classrooms. Many of them want to learn in groups and to see their faith-based values and their Pacific languages, practices, histories and stories included in their learning. You also want to better understand the variety of career pathways available to young people beyond school.

  • You see education and learning as a communal activity and parents want to support their children by learning alongside them. You want to know more about NCEA, technology, pathways and the schools’ expectations for our children. You want to be an advocate for your child and keep the school accountable.

  • Education should develop important skills that enable our children and young people to thrive. These include critical thinking, practical life skills, such as budgeting, a strong sense of identity and soft skills such as empathy and open-mindedness.

  • Racism is a barrier in education – the incorrect pronunciation of names, the surprise when Pacific students are smart, and the criticism of scholarships for our Pacific students. Our young people want to know how to deal with this when they are faced with it and you all want to see a more inclusive system. You also want improved access to technology, community services and resourcing for learning support and bilingual education.

  • Success for you is not about an individual’s achievements, it is about the collective – the achievements of the family and community. The way success is viewed in our schools is too narrow.

  • There is a need for better pathways through education that strengthen Pacific identity, language and culture and you want acknowledgement of the diversity of the Pacific population. 

Following the publication of our first findings report in September, this is the next step in an ongoing conversation around Pacific Education.

To subscribe to updates regarding next steps – please send us an email at pacific.educationconversation@education.govt.nz