27 Aug 2014

New $10m fund for Asian languages

3:24 pm on 27 August 2014

A new fund is being set up for schools wanting to start or extend teaching of Asian languages.

Vote Kiwi hopes to motivate self-learning, critical thinking and political engagement.

The Government has promised $10 million for a new Asian language fund. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Education Minister Hekia Parata said the Government would spend $10 million over the next five years on the fund.

Schools could apply for money to set up new Mandarin, Japanese or Korean language programmes, or to expand or enhance existing Asian language programmes.

Ms Parata said Japanese was taught at about 160 secondary schools, Mandarin at fewer than 40 and Korean at two.

Children needed the opportunity to learn the languages of New Zealand's main trading partners, she said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs