24 Nov 2012

Samoan elder resigns over New Zealand government education plan

10:07 am on 24 November 2012

A long-serving member of the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs' advisory council has resigned in protest at what he calls the Government's lack of support for Pacific languages in schools.

Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, a senior lecturer in Samoan at Victoria University, says he's angry and frustrated the latest Pasifika Education Plan ignores what Pacific communities want.

Mr Hunkin says the plan repeats platitudes about the importance of Pacific languages without any commitment to funding them in schools.

He says Government plans to lift the performance of Pacific students will continue to fail as long as they assume that literacy in English is the only path to success.

Mr Hunkin says international evidence proves bilingualism improves educational achievement.