30 Apr 2020

Covid-19: Kōhanga reo student packs have fewer resources, parents say

7:19 am on 30 April 2020

Parents of kōhanga reo students have complained to the Ministry of Education that their tamariki missed out on home learning resources that children in mainstream preschools received.

No caption

Photo: RNZ / Te Aniwa Hurihanganui

The Ministry of Education has dealt with 10 complaints relating to disparities between mainstream preschool distance learning packs - which included crayons, chalk and more books - that kōhanga reo packs didn't have.

However, the Ministry's early learning and sector achievement deputy secretary Ellen MacGregor-Reid said only mainstream early childcare centres who were eligible for Targeted Funding for Disadvantage received learning packs.

Targeted Funding for Disadvantage is where 20 percent of children attending the ECE have spent most of their life as the dependent of a beneficiary.

That included 390 kōhanga reo and 16 puna reo, covering 8400 children.

"The purposes of the two learning packs are somewhat different, and we are making sure children who attend eligible kōhanga also receive both," MacGregor-Reid said.

"The early learning packs contain resources that support early learning development through play in the home. The packs for children in kōhanga are designed to support Māori language learning in the home".

She said that te reo Māori material to kōhanga began last week, and was still being distributed.

Kōhanga Reo Trust chief executive Angus Hartley said there was a difference between te reo Māori packs and disadvantaged packs, but he didn't believe there was a disparity in resourcing.

"Since this has blown up we've tried to respond and make sure there is some equity in those packs."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs