Racism common in the the education system


In 2018 Unicef ranked New Zealand 33rd out of 38 countries in terms of educational equality and the Ministry of Education has said there is “consistent evidence that the education system has underserved Māori learners and whānau over an extended period”.

When @Ngati_Frybread posed a question on their Instagram meme page asking Māori and Pasifika to share their experiences of racism at school, they received 900 responses in three days.

By Thursday there were about 1300 and they were hugely varied.

Students described being subject to racial slurs and harmful stereotypes, having their names repeatedly mispronounced and culture devalued.

In 2018, Māori students continued to be stood down at a greater rate than any other ethnic group.

A 2018 report, the age-standardised stand-down rate for Māori students was 44.3 per 1000 students.

This is two times higher than European/Pākehā students (20.9 stand-downs per 1000 students).

The rate for Pasifika students in 2018 was 28.2 per 1000 students.

Teacher, as well as pupils, report instances of discrimination.

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) commissioned the Australian Catholic University to look into principals’ health and wellbeing.

The study has been running since 2016, and aims to shed some light on exactly how principals’ work is affecting their lives.

The 2018 Report revealed:

  • 27 percent of Māori and Pasifika school leaders identify their ethnicity as a source of relationship tension.
  • 25.8 percent who reported discrimination at work, based on ethnicity, compared to about 9 percent of non-Māori leaders.

Lead researcher associate professor Phil Riley said senior school leaders had even reported discrimination when dealing with government agencies, including the Ministry of Education and the Education Review Office.

@Ngati FryBread have started a petition calling on the Government to address systemic racism in education.


Click to access Discrimination_-_FINAL_report_for_launch_20180614.pdf

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News category: New Zealand.

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