20 Oct 2010

Contined push for NZ government to keep Samoan learning materials

2:35 pm on 20 October 2010

The New Zealand Labour Party's Pacific Island Affairs spokesman is urging Samoan parents to maintain pressure on the Education Ministry over its decision to suspend some Pacific language resources.

The Ministry says it has paused the publication of the Tupu book series and the Samoan school journal, Folauga, to allow officials to investigate better ways to support Pasifika students with English literacy.

Su'a William Sio says he believes the Ministry is trying to send some signals of reprieve but he says he still has major concerns.

He has urged Samoan parents and the Association of Teachers and Parents for the Teaching of Samoan in New Zealand to voice their concerns to the ministry.

"I'm now making approaches to FAGASA and other organisations. And I'm going to continue asking them to write letters consistently to the Minister of Education because ultimately the ministry is her baby. But I'm going to be looking to conduct a range of meetings with church ministers and other organisations that have been in the forefront of promoting bilingualism."

Su'a William Sio says the government needs to be open and honest to the public, in particular the Pacific communities, about its intentions.