Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa.
Quality education is the right of every child and young person
in Aotearoa and is underpinned by learning environments that place the learner and learner outcomes at the centre of all activity.
Successful learning organisations are those that are
on a continuous, deliberate and future-focused journey of improvement, using evidence to shape their direction and decision making.
Te Pou Mataaho, ERO’s evaluation and research group, and Te Uepū ā Motu, ERO’s national evaluation and review team, pursued this evaluation to provide an evidence base about the initial impacts of Covid-19 on Māori-medium education and how the sector responded.
The evaluation approach has been designed by Māori, with Māori, for Māori and in te reo Māori. It respectfully acknowledges and validates the underlying principles of the differing provisions of Māori-medium education for Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa, Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa, Kōhanga Reo, Puna Reo and Whare Kōhungahunga, and operates in accordance with these. The above are referred to as peak bodies throughout this report. Information was gathered from learners, whānau, kaiako, kaimahi, leaders, hapū, and iwi representatives.
The Māori-medium sector has continued to show great success in providing for tamariki Māori and their whānau. The findings demonstrate how those within the sector successfully joined forces with their communities to respond quickly to the many challenges presented by Covid-19, and went above and beyond for learners, whānau, hapū and iwi.
This research found that many learners have come through this period of crisis with their wellbeing and engagement
in learning enhanced by the experience. Leaders and kaiako supported learners and their whānau by working with them and remaining connected to them through high levels of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga. Despite the inequities experienced due to a lack of resources and the ‘digital divide’, leaders reported a rise in learner and whānau engagement through distance learning.
This report has the potential to be far reaching and can influence the entire education sector. It can serve as a guide to optimising learner engagement and wellbeing in future responses to unprecedented events. Furthermore, the many lessons learnt in Māori-medium education
can potentially influence English-medium teaching and learning in the future to enhance Māori achieving educational success as Māori.