Monday, March 15, 2021
Media release issued by Te Whāriki Takapou.
Te Whāriki Takapou has launched a new te reo Māori sexuality education
programme, ‘Te Ira Tangata (Tau 9 & 10)’ for Māori-medium schools. Funded by the
Ministry of Health, the programme took two years to produce, in partnership with wharekura
and kura kaupapa Māori teachers, boards of trustees, and whānau.
Professor Mera Penehira, chair of the Board of Te Whāriki Takapou and who has a daughter
in Year 13 at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, says she is proud of the new
programme ‘Te Ira Tangata (Tau 9 & 10)’, along with Te Ira Tangata (Tau 7 & 8) which was
launched in 2018. Penehira says the response from Māori-medium schools to Te Ira Tangata
(Tau 7 & 8) has been extremely positive. This is in part, she says, because both programmes
incorporate Te Aho Matua and align to Te Marautanga and other key Māori education and te
reo Māori strategies and guidelines.
Māori student success at Māori-medium schools is remarkable. All the evidence indicates
that Māori students who speak te reo Māori and are strong in their identity do well across all
domains of life, including health and wellbeing. Despite this, and four decades of underfunded
te reo Māori revitalisation through kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori, Penehira
says Māori-medium schools are still getting a raw deal.
This year the Ministry of Education contracted for resources to support teachers to deliver
healthy relationships and sexuality education in English-medium schools. However, no
contract was let to support teachers at Māori-medium schools. Last year the Ministry of
Education launched the new curriculum leads for relationships and sexuality education but it
is unclear what expertise, if any, will go to teachers at Māori-medium schools.
Meanwhile, Penehira says next year is the start of the United Nations International Decade of
Indigenous Languages, and it’s time the government delivered on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and
the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Māori health
organisations like Te Whāriki Takapou work with Māori communities to produce
programmes like Te Ira Tangata, but there’s no agreed strategy between the Ministry of
Health and the Ministry of Education to support healthy relationships and sexuality education
in Māori-medium schools. Penehira says it’s time Minister Davis, Associate Minister, Māori
Education, worked with the Hon. Minister Hipkins, Minister of Education, to resource and
support teachers in Māori-medium schools to teach Te Ira Tangata and similar mātauranga
Māori-based programmes for the health and wellbeing of Māori students and the
revitalisation of te reo Māori.
Te Ira Tangata (Tau 9 & 10) is available from the Te Whāriki Takapou website
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