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New course to help implement te reo Maori into practice

REVITALISING TE REO MAORI: From left, Kaiawhina Taine Ngarimu, programme coordinator Alannah Marriott and programme tutor Sue Ngarimu are enthusiastic about the new six-month Te Ahu o te Reo Māori course available for teachers at EIT Tairawhiti. Picture supplied

A NEW programme at EIT Tairawhiti offers teachers the chance to implement te reo Māori into their curriculum.

Programme tutor Sue Ngarimu will lead the six-month Te Ahu o te Reo Māori course with the help of three of the region’s kaumatua as kaiawhina.

Representing all the iwi in the district, Taina Ngarimu, Albie Gibson and Ihipera Whakataka make up the three pou to ensure teachers can learn the local histories, dialect and tikanga.

The course will also be supported by four passionate te reo post-graduate students to help teachers learn.

Te Ahu o Te Reo will involve one two-day wananga each month for six months as well as self-directed home-based learning, says Sue.

“Teachers will be exposed to a range of different resources they can use in classrooms.

“The benefit for teachers from this learning is that they will develop the ability to engage in culturally responsive ways, by improving their cultural capability through engaging with the local histories of the mana whenua while improving their pronunciation in te reo Maori and their understanding of tikanga Maori.

“Teachers will get a better understanding of the Māori world view, engaging in a variety of learning opportunities to support them both as learners and classroom practitioners.”

Programme co-ordinator Alannah Marriott says more than 70 percent of students in this region are Māori in need of better progress achievement and outcomes.

“We can’t ignore it anymore.

“This gives those students the chance to experience learning with teachers who basically ‘get them’.

“Teachers can’t build rapport with students without understanding them culturally. An effective teacher must understand the map of the learner’s territory in order to be in relationship with them.

“Without that relationship, it is impossible to effectively influence them to reach their potential.”

Taina Ngarimu points at local kura kaupapa results.

“As far as learning Māori goes, take a look at the recent results.

“Māori in kura kaupapa are doing far better than Māori in mainstream.

“This course gives Māori in those schools opportunities to make gains,” he says.

Starting in January, EIT plans to register 130 teachers for the course.

Teachers need to choose to take part in the course but need the support of the school.

Sue Ngarimu says the course is a chance for teachers to develop their reo and tikanga capability, which is one of the areas in their professional growth cycle.

“There has been a shift from an appraisal process where teachers have to be endorsed for their skill development.”

The Ministry of Education started rolling out Te Ahu o Te Reo in 2019 as part of the five- year national strategy to make te reo Māori compulsory in all schools.

One of the programme’s four post-graduate students, Waiora Te Kani, is excited about the programme starting here.

“It is all part of a revitalisation of the language,” she said.

“We are focusing on helping to implement te reo Māori in all schools across the region.”

There will be five strands: local dialect, how to use te reo, how to implement it into a curriculum, grammar and revitalisation.

“The course gives teachers an opportunity to get a jump ahead and feel confident about what they are teaching,” says Waiora.

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori means the future pathway of Te Reo Māori — a pathway that seeks to inspire for improved te reo Māori proficiency, acquisition and use across the education sector.

It also provides for te reo Māori to be normalised, and Māori identity and culture, to be shared and embraced.

  1. Tom Webb, Rotorua says:

    An absolute must, I am excited with the concept.
    It is an opportunity to pull the reo concepts apart and rearrange them to how the spoken word was meant to be.
    I believe that the foundation of the reo is now fulfilled by such a programme.
    I am disappointed that I do not live in the area to take up the programme.