Students studying Māori Performing Arts at NCEA level will now have their credits count towards university entrance as part of efforts by the Ministry of Education to ensure parity of Māori knowledge in the education system.
Thirty secondary schools and wharekura will be piloting Te Ao Haka, a new Māori performing arts subject, which was launched by the Ministry of Education today at Pipitea Marae.
Its deputy secretary of early learning and student achivement, Ellen MacGregor-Reid, said thousands of young people were already studying Māori performing arts, but the subject was only unit standards, so they did not count towards achieving university entrance.
She said changing this was a step forward to ensuring parity of Māori knowledge in the education system.
"The changes address recommendations, made during the 2018 review of NCEA, that te reo Māori, tikanga Māori (Māori way of doing things), and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) are valued and supported in the curriculum and NCEA in the same way as English language and culture.
"This kaupapa is an important step in our obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi to recognise mātauranga Māori and be true partners, so this is an important point for the Ministry of Education to reach and we're really commited to seeing it through."
Kaiako (teachers) from the 30 schools were training over the next three days on how to teach towards achievement standards, MacGregor-Reid said.
"It was really exciting to open the three day hui this morning.
"Kaiako from across the country are giving up time from their summer holidays to come together and get this off to a great start and I really want to thank them."
MacGregor-Reid said the ministry would be refining the achievement standards over the next year, with the hope the subject would be available to all secondary schools and wharekura by 2023.
"I'd really like to acknowledge the kaiako, practitioners and community leaders along with our Māori performing arts expert group who have worked so hard over many years to get to the point of having Māori performing arts recognised as achievement standards."