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In a recent blogpost I mentioned the decline of Cook Island Māori and Niue. I later learned that there had been some support for the use of these in schools - in 2007 the then NZ Education Minister Steve Maharey announced guidelines for using Niue in early childhood education in NZ schools, joining other Pasifika languages (Samoan and Cook Island Māori).

Now the current NZ Government has decided to ditch 33 Pasifika bilingual education units. What evidence did they use to justify this? They clearly haven't studied what has happened in the NT following their decision to stop bilingual education. There's no sign yet that the NT changes are producing good educational results. And looking to a distant future, saying change is slow, doesn't help those kids in classes right now.

I don't know if they discussed this decision with the families. If they did not, then the message this sends the children and their families is that your wishes, your views on education and your languages are of no value.

Comments

Update:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10681454

"Ministry of Education plans to stop providing a series of books for students learning Pasifika languages have caused complaints to the Human Rights Commission"

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The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.
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