24 Feb 2012

Pacific communities to take more responsibility

8:15 am on 24 February 2012

The Minister of Pacific Island Affairs is calling for Pacific communities to take more responsibility for their children's education and for speaking their own languages.

Hekia Parata, who is also Education Minister, says she wants urgent, measurable improvements in Pacific children's achievement.

But she told Pacific education and community leaders on Thursday that the Government can't do that on its own.

Ms Parata said Pacific parents need to get on school boards and enrol their children in new Pacific language preschools the Government is funding.

The Government has set aside $7 million for more Pacific early childhood centres, but Ms Parata said that will not lift participation unless parents actually enrol their children.