$9.4 mil­lion boost for ESOL

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SHANI WIL­LIAMS

Chil­dren learn­ing English as a sec­ond lan­guage will ben­e­fit from an ad­di­tional $9.4 mil­lion boost in Gov­ern­ment fund­ing over the next two years.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Nikki Kaye said the Gov­ern­ment had al­lo­cated ad­di­tional fund­ing in English for speak­ers of other lan­guages (ESOL) in the Bud­get 2017, as a re­sult of New Zealand’s in­creas­ingly di­verse stu­dent pop­u­la­tion.

Gov­ern­ment fund­ing for ESOL in 2016 was $28.8 mil­lion - the new fund­ing will add $3.6 mil­lion in 2017 and $5.76 mil­lion in 2018.

Last week Statis­tics New Zealand re­leased its May fig­ures, which showed a record high for mi­gra­tion - with a gain of 72,000 non-New Zealand cit­i­zens in the past year.

The statis­tics showed 39 per cent of Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion was born over­seas.

A grow­ing num­ber of stu­dents had English as a sec­ond lan­guage, Kaye said.

‘‘Schools are re­quest­ing spe­cialised sup­port to help these stu­dents.

‘‘For these stu­dents to be truly suc­cess­ful in their ed­u­ca­tion they need more than a ba­sic grasp of the English lan­guage - which is why ESOL fund­ing is so im­por­tant,’’ Kaye said.

The $9.4 mil­lion will fund spe­cial­ist ESOL pro­grams, sup­port ESOL teach­ers and train main­stream teach­ers on how to sup­port these stu­dents.

On a visit to Free­man’s Bay School on Fri­day Kaye met with stu­dents and staff ben­e­fit­ing from ESOL fund­ing.

The boost re­ceived a ‘‘thumb­sup’’ from Free­man’s Bay School prin­ci­pal San­dra Jenk­ins.

‘‘By the Gov­ern­ment show­ing re­spect for New Zealand’s cul­tural di­ver­sity our grad­u­ates will have re­spect for cul­tural di­ver­sity - mean­ing that our fu­ture lead­ers will make the world a more peace­ful place,’’ Jenk­ins said.

Kaye said ESOL pro­grams de­mon­strated suc­cess.

‘‘NCEA achieve­ment data shows stu­dents who re­ceive ESOL sup­port achieve NCEA level 2 as of­ten as English speak­ing back­ground stu­dents do.’’

Schools used fund­ing in a range of ways.

‘‘A school in Auck­land is us­ing dig­i­tal tools to sup­port stu­dents and their fam­i­lies who are learn­ing English, and at a school in Welling­ton the ESOL teacher main­tains a cal­en­dar of fes­ti­vals to cel­e­brate the di­verse cul­tures of the stu­dents,’’ Kaye said.

SHANI WIL­LIAMS/FAIR­FAX NZ

MP Nikki Kaye vis­ited Free­man’s Bay School on Fri­day to meet with ESOL stu­dents and staff.

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