15 Sep 2018

NZ releases tool to help teachers engage with Pasifika

9:15 am on 15 September 2018

New Zealand's Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa has launched a cultural competency tool for teachers working with Pacific learners.

The Tongan-born minister said the government had heard the need for more support for teachers working with Pacific learners, so it has put Tapasā into action.

Happy kids in bright clothing under umbrellas

The Ministry of Education has released a tool to help teachers connect with their Pasifika students and community Photo: Wellington City Council

Tapasā is a teaching resource for early learning and school teachers that was developed by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with a 'Pacific Experts Panel'.

It aimed to better support Pacific learners and enable teachers to have a better understanding of their world.

Mrs Salesa said Tapasā would build teachers' confidence in engaging with Pacific learners, as well as their parents, families and communities.

She said Tapasā was designed primarily to support non-Pacific leaders, teachers and boards to engage with Pasifika learners in culturally responsive ways.

Mrs Salesa said it contained a variety of helpful information such as case studies of successful teaching practices and ideas that teachers could use to incorporate Pacific perspectives into their work.

First Tongan-born NZ MP, Jenny Salesa

Associate Minister of Education, Jenny Salesa Photo: RNZ Pacific: Sela Jane Hopgood