Central Leader : Central Leader November 3
3 CENTRAL LEADER, NOVEMBER 3, 2010 NEWS First Steps Parnell Open Day Saturday 6th Nov ✔ Newly renovated environment ✔ Fun activities for children ✔ Local MP attending (ETA 12pm) ✔ BBQ and refreshments ✔ Enjoy guided tours and the chance to talk to our teachers Kidicorp for happy, confident learners To find out more phone us on (09) 373 3477 , 7 Ngaoho Place, Parnell Special offers on the day! Find out more *conditions may apply www.national.org.nz Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga MP FOR MAUNGAKIEKIE HAVE YOUR SAY At what age should you be able to buy alcohol? • 18, as it is currently • Raise the purchase age to 20 • Split age - 18 years at on-licences (pubs), 20 years at off-licences (liquor stores) Please email me your preferred option in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office on 09 622 0300. Start of council new era It was a council meeting like no other. New mayor Len Brown and 20 council- lors from around the region were sworn into office on Monday night amid fanfare usually reserved for royalty. More than 1200 people who packed the Auckland Town Hall were treated to an hour- long welcome from Maori leaders, musical numbers on the famous town hall organ and songs by the Graduate Choir New Zealand. Prime Minister John Key, who addressed the inaugural Auckland Council meeting, likened it to an Auckland Uni- versity graduation cer- emony he spoke at in the town hall in 2004. The room was full of excitement and expec- tation. The emotions here are very much the same.'' But beyond the excite- ment there was a serious side to the proceedings as well, with Mr Brown outlining his vision for Auckland in a 15-minute speech. He repeated his elec- tion promise of moving towards building an inner city loop, ex- tending rail to the air- port and across to the North Shore. And Mr Brown drew on the memory of former Auckland city mayor Sir Dove-Myer Robinson's vision for extending rail throughout the city to reinforce his point. Imagine how differ- ent Auckland would be now if Dove's plans had not been derailed.'' The former Manukau mayor also talked about working with the Auck- land businesses, uni- versities and poly- technics to generate ideas that will make the city a more prosperous place to live. Early start shopping An evening Christmas sale is planned for next Wednesday to help fam- ilies prepare for the silly season. Mercy Hospice Auck- land is gathering stock from its six shops around the city will be pooled at the Ellerslie branch. Items for sale will include hand-sewn speciality baby and children's wear, jewel- lery, cake stands, new and used Christmas decorations, summer clothing and homewares. The sale is at 188 Ladies Mile in Ellerslie town centre from 5pm to 7pm. Pacific units in limbo By CARLY TAWHIAO Resource threat: Suzie-Jo Rasmussen, Richmond Road Primary School's Samoan bilingual unit head teacher, is concerned about the Education Ministry decision to put on hold the production of its reading resources. Photo: JASON OXENHAM ' Tupu means to grow. But it's not going to grow, it's going to be killed. ' Head teacher Suzie-Jo Rasmussen THE PLUG looks set to be pulled on funding Pacific language literacy in Decem- ber but not without oppo- sition. Central Auckland Samoan bilingual units are frustrated and disappointed by the Edu- cation Ministry's decision to put the publication of its Tupu and Folauga series on hold as it looks for ways to lift English literacy among Pasi- fika students. Head teacher Suzie-Jo Ras- mussen from Richmond Road Primary School's Samoan bilingual unit Mua I Malae says the decision is discrimi- nating. Her closet-sized resource room provides plenty of space to store vital reading mater- ial. Material is provided by the ministry and the parent support network Matua Atinae which helps the unit's 75 pupils by cutting and pasting Samoan translations over English books. Tupu means to grow. But it's not going to grow, it's going to be killed. The ministry's attitude shows they don't value our kids' culture and they prefer to teach English while chil- dren lose their mother tongue.'' Kowhai Intermediate par- ent Joanne Okesene's con- cerns prompted her to lay a complaint to the Human Rights Commission. All Pacific Islanders need to be aware that this is happening. Without the Tupu book series it will be extremely dif- ficult, if not impossible, for teachers to provide quality bilingual education pro- grammes. Is this actually the government's hidden agenda to make it so difficult that the programmes fail? There are plenty of studies that show children successful in their heritage language can translate that knowledge to English and so can be suc- cessful with both. They don't have to be suc- cessful in English at the expense of the other language.'' John McCaffery, a senior lecturer at Auckland Univer- sity's faculty of education, agrees. He is among a team conducting research into the benefits of bilingual edu- cation for the ministry. Bilingualism and literacy in Pacific languages is ident- ified in the ministry's own website as a major contribu- tor to academic success of Pasifika students in New Zealand schools. The apparent unaware- ness of ministry officials of their own research and policy astounds us and makes New Zealand look like something out of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. This appears to be little more than insti- tutional racism and a Pacific human rights violation of major proportions.'' The ministry's acting group manager for curriculum teaching and learning How- ard Baldwin says under cur- rent policy, te reo Maori and English are the only fully funded languages of instruc- tion. He says there are no plans to change the level of funding provided to the 33 New Zea- land schools that have Pacific bilingual units but Pasifika students' English literacy levels need lifting. The ministry is reviewing the Tupu and Folauga series while it investigates how cur- riculum support materials can best accelerate the achievement of Pasifika students in English literacy.'' Mr Baldwin says as part of the Pasifika Education Plan, the ministry will continue to provide guidelines, resources and professional development for teachers to support Pasifika languages as further support is designed.
November 5th 2010