Source: New Zealand Government
Ensuring Pacific learners and families are valued, culturally safe and better equipped to achieve their educational dreams and aspirations is the focus of a new action plan released today by Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa.
“The Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030 is a blueprint for transforming outcomes for Pacific learners and families and is a key part of our wellbeing programme” says Jenny Salesa. “It will drive systemic change in and across the education system to support the education and wellbeing of our Pacific children and young people.
“We want Aotearoa New Zealand to be the best place in the world for children and young people. We know that happy, healthy learners are more likely to attend, engage and achieve in education, work and life.
“We know that Pacific learners and families already experience inequitable outcomes in education and have previously been vulnerable to the impacts of a recession. There is a risk that the financial barriers to accessing education will grow and the risks for Pacific learners and families achieving their educational aspirations will be greater than ever before.”
The Action Plan responds to the voices of diverse Pacific communities from across Aotearoa New Zealand and outlines the shifts Pacific communities want to see in the education system to support this direction of travel.
“I led a series of fono over 18 months and connected with just over 3000 people to develop this Action Plan. Pacific people told me that the diversity of Pacific communities should be acknowledged and that education needs to support learners’ aspirations.”
“Pacific students, educators, teachers and parents discussed experiences of racism and bullying and challenges to their wellbeing being impediments to their educational success.”
The Action Plan guides education agencies to work collaboratively with Pacific communities over the next 10 years, and signals how early learning services, schools and tertiary providers can achieve change for Pacific learners and families.
“We cannot achieve the change needed alone. Working together with Pacific communities and educators and taking collective action is how we can make positive changes for our Pacific learners.”
The Action Plan is supported by Government’s investment of $27.4 million in Budget 2019 and a further $80.2 million in Budget 2020 to support Pacific learners and families.
“Significant investment has been provided to build on the innovative practices valued by Pacific learners and families – not just in our early learning services, our schools and our tertiary institutions, but also in our communities. We know the education system has under-served Pacific learners and that we have to do better.
“The Action Plan will be responsive to changing community needs by continuing to place Pacific voices at the heart of education. By working with Pacific communities we will ensure that we are getting it right and that we understand their needs during these unprecedented times.
“I want to thank all our Pacific learners, families, educators and communities for giving us your time and providing us with your ideas, insights and experiences, which has assisted in co-designing this Action Plan,” Jenny Salesa said.
The Action Plan is a blueprint for communities, the education sector and the Government to transform outcomes for Pacific learners and families.
The Action Plan was built from the voices of Pacific communities and recognises the five key shifts communities want to see in education so that diverse Pacific learners and their families are safe, valued and equipped to achieve their education aspirations.
These five shifts are:
- Working reciprocally with diverse Pacific communities to respond to unmet needs, with an initial focus on needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Confronting systematic racism and discrimination in education;
- Enabling every teacher, leader, and education professional to take coordinated action to become culturally competent with diverse Pacific learners;
- Partnering with families to design education opportunities together with teachers, leaders and educational professionals so aspirations for learning and employment can be met; and
- Growing, retaining, and valuing highly competent teachers, leaders and educational professionals of diverse Pacific heritages.
The Action Plan is a key pillar in the 30 year vision for education.
Part of working differently through the Action Plan for Pacific Education includes building on the investment of $27.4 million in Budget 2019 and the new investment of $80.2 million in Budget 2020 to support Pacific learners and families to access and participate in education, through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
Further information about the Budget 2019 investment is available at: https://www.education.govt.nz/our-work/publications/budget-2019/new-funding-for-pacific-education-through-budget-19/
The Budget 2020 investment is focused on:
- Establishing an innovation fund that community groups, educators and leaders can access to support innovative education practices that help Pacific learners to thrive as Pacific.
- Supporting Pacific community providers to meet the education-related needs of Pacific learners and families.
- Improving our support for Pacific-led early learning centres.
- Expanding Tautai o le Moana, an educational leadership collaboration which seeks to strengthen the capabilities of those in leadership, to improve outcomes and support the wellbeing of our Pacific learners.
- Translation of key education-related materials and messages into 10 Pacific languages.