A charity set up to support partnership schools says a Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal claim by two prominent Māori educators over the ending of the experiment should be a wake-up call for Government.
Sir Toby Curtis and former Dame Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi claim that closing partnership schools will have a disproportionately detrimental effect on Māori, who make up the majority of students at six of the 11 schools.
E Tipu e Rea chair Rob McLeod of Ngāti Porou says Education Minister Chris Hipkins failed to consider evidence confirming the educational effectiveness and cost efficiency of kura hourua, and he failed to consult with the schools, the community, or Māori who will be most affected.
He says no single system including the state system can address every aspect of Māori educational under-achievement, so choice across the system gives individual Māori the opportunity to self-select into a tailored offering that works for the person or whānau.
Meanwhile, Tā Toby told parliament’s education select committee yesterday the Government was showing a lack of aroha for the 1500 children attending kura hourua.
He says the Government is bullying the schools to switch to the state system.
Ten of the publicly-funded private schools have applied to become designated character schools, and two – Te Kura Māori o Waatea in Mangere and the proposed new Tūranga Tangata Rite in Gisborne – want to become integrated schools similar to Catholic schools.