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Ed Sheeran

Time right for reo drive

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A south Auckland school principal says the time is right to make te reo Māori compulsory in schools.

Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says he wants the language to become a core subject as soon as possible, although official government policy is that the aim is universal availability, subject to the supply of teachers.

Maahia Nathan from Te Wharekura o Manurewa says as a former school principal Mr Davis understands what schools need, and can handle.

He says the take-up of a new programme to give mainstream teachers the skills and confidence to use te reo Māori in the classroom shows the profession is ready.

"Learning the reo as a kaiako in a Pākehā school, in any school is going to enhance the status of our language, is going to create better citizens and it's about the preservation of our reo. We can't do it ourselves. We need our tauiwi friends and we need those people learning the reo to convince other people, tauiwi people of the benefits," Mr Nathan says.

He says people complain about the prospect of Māori becoming a compulsory part of the school curriculum, but they were silent when the digital technology curriculum was forced on all schools.


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