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 "When children see someone who looks like them in front of the classroom, they feel an instant sense of connection and belonging."

 "I love my family and my culture. I feel treasured and cared for. This is how we feel at church, but not at school"

Are these important to you?

  • Widespread agreement with the proposed focus areas
  • Some mention that families are under a lot of stress and any help to support their children is beneficial. They want to gain confidence and want schools to create safer places to talk
  • A number of people note the small numbers of Pacific teachers and would like to see more, particularly Fijian teachers. This would help Fijian children aspire to be teachers. Suggestion that the Government could bring Pacific teachers directly from the Islands to teach in New Zealand
  • Targeting support should also include getting access to internet and technology 

Is there something missing?

  • Support for a stronger understanding of and recognition for smaller ethnic groups such as Fiji, Kiribati and Cook Islands – including having more ethnic specific fono
  • Ministry working intentionally/deliberately with Pasifika communities to understand why parents don't engage on many occasions regarding their children
  • Understanding of poverty/negative home environments and how to support children who come from these situations
  • Support for parents when children are choosing subjects, knowing what you need for different pathways
  • Schools should have internships for all different types of jobs so that young people can make informed decisions about their future e.g. Wesley College partnering with NZ Police
  • Put more focus on individual cultures and histories
  • More dialogue in classrooms about racism 

Questions

  • Are Rotumans/Indo-Fijians included in these meetings?
  • Does the Ministry have funding to implement actions in these areas?
  • How are you making parents aware of PowerUP? Most parents don’t know that it exists
  • Are you conscious that not all parents can afford to pay the power for simple technologies offered at school?
  • The missing link between the Ministry of Education and local communities – are there local Ministry offices? If so, where are they? Do they engage with the community about education issues?

Most common indicators of success (in order)

  • Pacific learners’ faith and beliefs and cultures are values in education
  • Pacific learners and their families feel accepted and included
  • Pacific learners and families are free from racism and discrimination in education
  • Pacific learners and families have access to technology to support their learning
  • Pacific learners with disabilities and their families have positive experiences in education
  • Pacific learners have the skills to succeed in the workforce

Other comments

  • Are Rotumans/Indo-Fijians included in these meetings?
  • How will the changes be implemented?
  • Does the Ministry have funding to implement actions in these areas?
  • How are you making parents aware of PowerUP? Most parents don’t know that it exists
  • Don’t assume we can access information readily online
  • Many parents don’t understand Education and MSD subsidies so don’t access them
  • Ongoing concern about the cost of education and being zoned out of schools that are perceived to provide more opportunities

Auckland Fiji Fono Summary [PDF]