Charter schools better for Māori than the state system

charter schools

Six of the 11 charter (partnership) schools have a Māori roll of 87 percent or higher.

High-profile Māori leader Lance O’Sullivan says self-serving interests and protectionism from the old establishment are at the heart of the move to close them down.

He says such a move will force Māori youth back into a state system that has “already failed them.”

He is calling on the government to “put aside ideology” and give Māori youth an opportunity to learn in an environment that worked for them.

O’Sullivan comments come after by Sir Toby Curtis and Dame Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi spoke out against the closures.

Curtis and Tāwhiwhirangi said the decision breaches the Treaty because it forces Māori out of an education model which works for them – and back into a state system which has long failed them.

O’Sullivan says he is an example of such a failure.

“I was a student who failed twice in the traditional education system,” he said.

“It was only when I had the privilege of attending a school where my own culture and language was valued and encouraged that I understood that I had the ability to succeed and create a better life not only for me and my family but also for others,” he said.

A Murupara-based long-time educator has also called on the minister of education to reconsider his decision to close partnership schools in favour of special character schools.

Pem Bird, who won the 2018 Matariki Award for contribution to education, said, in his opinion, Chris Hipkins’ actions were “profoundly disrespectful.”

“It’s condemning these children to return to a system where Māori and Pasifika underachievement is chronic, intractable and systemic.”

Bird said partnership schools were making a positive difference for Māori and Pasifika students.



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News category: New Zealand.

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