13 Jun 2013

Chile interested in Maori education success - ambassador

8:02 am on 13 June 2013

The Chilean Government is to hold talks with Education Minister Hekia Parata about Maori models of achievement.

Ms Parata is flying to Chile on Thursday to attend the 13th Education Seminar organised by Libertad y Desarrollo (LYD) - a Chilean organisation for research and private education in the capital of Santiago.

The Chilean ambassador to New Zealand, Isauro Torres, says although the Minister's visit will focus on public education in New Zealand, among other topics, the Chilean government is keen to hear about Maori education success stories.

He says his government is delighted to be hosting Ms Parata, who will be giving a presentation and sharing ideas with her Chilean counterpart, and will also be recognised as a Maori representative in Chile -

Mr Torres also says this is a timely opportunity for Hekia Parata to talk about how tangata whenua are involved in developing education strategies such as kura kaupapa (total Maori language immersion schools) as a model for the indigenous Mapuche people in Chile.

Ms Parata says she is looking forward to discussing ways to expand initiatives, and demonstrating New Zealand's commitment in education co-operation between the two countries.

New Zealand is the only country to be selected by the Chilean government to date for the 'Penguins Without Borders' programme, which sees high-achieving Chilean students travel to New Zealand to study.

Ms Parata says this speaks volumes for the high regard in which New Zealand's education system is held in Chile.

The seminar will be attended by more than 1000 teachers from public schools, principals, country school managers and other key sector stakeholders.