18 Aug 2015

Pilot programme to help struggling rangatahi

9:11 am on 18 August 2015

A Māori social service provider in Blenheim has launched a pilot programme to help rangatahi who are struggling to achieve their goals at secondary school.

Teacher and student at Linwood Primary School, Christchurch.

Teacher and student at Linwood Primary School, Christchurch. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Maata Waka ki te Tau Ihu is delivering a course called Tiramarama Mai, launched on Monday by Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell.

General Manager Gael McDonald said the programme was designed to motivate rangatahi to keep on learning by including a strong cultural component.

"One thing that was evident to us is that many of rangatahi were not engaged well in school, they were not doing very well," she said.

"We felt that we could offer a different approach where we linked in our social services alongside en education component.

"So, identifying what they want to do with their lives - what they're really good at, and really focusing and developing that."

She said with the input of a student's whānau, the programme was about finding out each young person's specific skills.

"Our social services here are able to work in with the whānau, and provide an intensive wrap-around and individualised programme to help each rangatahi to achieve their goals."

Ms Robinson said Tiramarama Mai would also be working with local secondary schools so that the students could gain NCEA credits.

"Any work they do, we want them to achieve some credits," she said.

"So we're also working with Marlborough Girls' College, who has someone there that's reviewing our programme and linking it towards NCEA accreditation."

Ms McDonald said Tiramarama Mai would be assessed after 12 months, and the expectation was to get more funding from South Island Whānau Ora agency Te Pūtahitanga o Te Wai Pounamu, as well as the Ministry of Education.

The programme has the backing of Marlborough Boys' and Girls' Colleges in Blenheim and Queen Charlotte College in Picton, who are sharing some of their resources.

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