tautoko for te reo?

September 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Support for the introduction of compulsory learning of te reo Maaori, the Maaori language is growing according to new research conducted by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo/The Maaori Language Commission.

A growing number of New Zealanders see value in supporting te reo as one of the official languages of the country. An overall figure of 38% has been publicised as supporting the idea of compulsory reo teaching as part of the curriculum. Glenis Philip-Barbara, the head of the commission acknowledges that this is not a majority figure but suggests this is a new height for official support from all of the community. Interestingly women and young people showed the highest support for the introduction of Maaori language, with 50% of the 15-34 age group giving their support to the idea. Perhaps, all things being equal, as this age-grade matures, te reo in the school will be compulsory.

With this in mind, the country faces challenges to supporting te reo specifically with regard to funding Maaori language education – earlier this year announcements of budgets for Kura Kaupapa/immersion primary schools were revealed to be significantly lower than uiquivalently sized mainstream schools. Finding teachers of te reo also remains a critical problem in revitalisation and transmission efforts. The current strategy for the Maaori language is under review. Pita Sharples, the Minister for Maori Affairs suggests that the current funding issues spreads the money too thinly.

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