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 “Racism and discrimination: There are schools in our area that limit students' ability to reach their full potential.  If you don't make the streamed class you cannot access the curriculum.” Māori teacher

 “Amanaki STEM Academy is working hard to support students.  How can we support organisations that are already working?”

Are these important to you?

  • All comments appear to support the focus areas, but some things that are missing are also pointed out. There is a stronger focus on teachers as activity sheets suggest there is a strong teacher presence at fono 

Is there something missing? What would you change about the areas?

  • Lower IELTS requirements, more scholarships
  • Teacher education courses need to have a Pacific competence focus. All papers should have cultural considerations for Māori and Pacific students, not just optional papers.
  • Change the first one to say value identity, languages and cultures THEN racism and discrimination
  • Focus should be on multilingual, not bilingual
  • Instead of more Pacific teachers, more competent Pacific teachers
  • Maybe have legislative change to make sure there is Pacific representation on boards
  • Want to see special needs and high learning needs feature in the focus areas
  • The fourth key shift should be about getting more competent Pacific teachers and it is noted that a teacher of any background can support Pasifika students
  • The first key shift should say something like “Take action against systemic racism” rather than “end racism”. Taking action is a realistic and impactful promise. 

Questions

  • Do Pasifika attract the same amount of ESOL funding as other students that aren't strong in English?
  • If there is nothing in our school/colleges that represents Pasifika people - is that subtle racism?
  • Is there a chance that MOE could strengthen relationships between the church/education and the members?  An example could be in the makeup of the governance board.
  • Accountability - some schools roll out PEP and some don't.  How can this be monitored so all schools are accountable? 

Other points

  • There are things happening in regions - find out what they are!  Papaeaga Trust, Jandal Jam (Levin), Amanaki STEM, PowerUp, PF.  Why does the MOE not strengthen the existing community projects that have been initiated by PI that build relationships within education sector?  E.g. Pacific Fusion, a 2 day event that empowers students to strengthen and improve academic achievement because of the fact they are celebrating their culture.  Pasifika Fusion has no funding to support this event.
  • PaSifika FuSion
    • Similar to Polyfest but a focus on essay writing, music, maths, science and speeches. The work is marked with NCEA standards
    • People from New Plymouth, Taranaki, Whanganui participate and there are requests from Tokoroa to participate. Participating students have high levels of achievement.
    • The City Council sponsors it. More info: https://www.facebook.com/PaSifika-FuSion-104136386297938/ 

Most common indicators of success (in order)

  • Pacific learners and their families feel accepted and included
  • Pacific families feel confident supporting their children in education
  • Pacific learners’ faith and beliefs and cultures are valued in education
  • There are no financial barriers to accessing education for Pacific learners and families
  • There are strong relationships between Pacific families and places of education

Palmerston North Fono Summary [PDF]