17 Jun 2010

Pasifika education progress still wanting, says NZ education minister

7:21 pm on 17 June 2010

New Zealand's Education Ministry agrees the achievement of Pacific students is not improving fast enough, but says it's better than it would have been without its Pasifika education plan.

A report by the country's Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs has found underachievement by Pacific students compared to national averages at all levels of the education system.

It cites lower participation rates in early childhood education, poor school performance and poor completion rates in tertiary education.

But the Education Ministry's senior Pasifika education manager, Lesieli Tongati'o, says its plan, which was first introduced in 1996, has made a difference

"The Pasifika participation in early childhood was really low, under 70 percent, now it's forecast to be around 88 percent by 2012. We have people in senior secondary leaving with more NCEA qualifications as well as university entrance, and more people are going into tertiary."

Lesieli Tongati'o says more urgency is needed to improve Pacific achievement and the plan has helped provide that.