Education spokesperson for the Maori Party, Te Ururoa Flavell, is shattered by the findings of the recent Education Review Report, which reveals that the Treaty of Waitangi principle is the least evident principle being followed in the school curriculum.[sws_pullquote_right]In 43 of the 109 schools surveyed the Treaty principle was the least evident of the eight principles of the New Zealand Curriculum. [/sws_pullquote_right] It is not as if the Treaty of Waitangi is a new principle in the curriculum said Mr Flavell. The New Zealand Curriculum Framework (1993) included the principle that The New Zealand Curriculum recognises the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi. The problem has always been in the implementation.
It is hardly breaking news then, that the Education Review Office recommends that schools still need to strategically address, through the curriculum, the Treaty of Waitangi principle.
But what is positive about todays report is that it recommends that the Ministry of Education must support school leaders and teachers to develop deeper understanding of the principles identified as being least evident and least enacted.
Todays report provided a clear benchmark in reporting on schools where the Treaty of Waitangi principle was evident in the curriculum. In these schools :
- Te reo me ona tikanga Maori was valued and promoted at many levels of the school (trustees, teachers, students) through powhiri, karakia and kapa haka;
- Students had opportunities to visit local marae
- Relationships were established with local iwi that supported students learning
We are also very pleased that the work being advanced by the Maori Party, in developing Tataiako cultural competency standards for educators will be available to support schools addressing another area of weakness the expression of cultural diversity.