10 Jul 2012

Call to develop cultural competency

6:30 am on 10 July 2012

Interim chairman of the Iwi Education Authority's cultural arm, Toby Curtis, is supporting the call for all teachers, not just those with classes of Maori students, to develop their cultural competency.

Associate Education Minister Pita Sharples says it is an essential strategy to reduce the number of Maori students who are suspended.

Mr Curtis who was appointed last week to chair Te KahuiReo Taketake, says he wants to see all professional teacher organisations and their unions implement what is known as Tataiako.

He says as a teacher himself, it would be very wrong to just focus on the needs of Maori pupils.

Mr Curtis says he has to be aware of his responsibilities to all children in the classroom and their cultural perspectives.

He says all teachers need to understand and respect the collective approach Maori have to life.

Mr Curtis says Te Kahui Reo Taketake will not accept that it is inevitable Maori pupils will under achieve in NCEA and have higher suspension rates.