Per­form­ing for cred­its

South Waikato News - - EDUCATION -

Pa­cific Is­land stu­dents will be able to make a song and dance of their stud­ies this year.

Stu­dents can sit two Pa­cific in­dige­nous knowl­edge stan­dards that count to­wards Na­tional Cer­tifi­cate of Ed­u­ca­tional Achieve­ment lev­els 1, 2 and 3, and ter­tiary qualifications.

Cred­its could be scored for good per­for­mances at con­certs.

The unit stan­dards cover Pa­cific cul­ture and aim to en­cour­age Pa­cific Is­lan­ders to ‘‘en­gage with and af­firm their own tra­di­tions and val­ues’’, the New Zealand Qualifications Author­ity mag­a­zine said.

The panel in­volved in the devel­op­ment of the stan­dards con­sid­ered in­di­vid­ual or group per­for­mance to be in­te­gral to pasi­fika cul­ture, Na­tional Qualifications ser­vices qualifications devel­op­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tor Gretchen Ivess said.

‘‘It is an­tic­i­pated that these stan­dards will be widely used to as­sess stu­dents’ abil­ity to present their work through an ap­pro­pri­ate pasi­fika per­for­mance con­text such as the Poly­ne­sian Fes­ti­val,’’ Ms Ivess said.

Min­istry of Pa­cific Is­land Af­fairs chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Colin Tukuitonga said the min­istry didn’t have any in­put into the new unit stan­dards but they were ‘‘po­ten­tially highly ben­e­fi­cial’’.

‘‘There’s rea­son­able ev­i­dence from in­ter­na­tional lit­er­a­ture that where some­one is con­fi­dent in their iden­tity and par­tic­u­larly if they are bilin­gual, re­gard­less of whether it’s English and Ja­panese . . . they do bet­ter gen­er­ally,’’ Dr Tukuitonga said. ‘‘I think it’s easy to take the view, ‘What’s all this per­for­mance got to do with aca­demic achieve­ment?’

‘‘I think if it’s just one way of get­ting Pa­cific stu­dents to get more cred­its then that’s. . . a very sad ap­proach be­cause it’s not go­ing to help any­one. ‘‘It’s po­ten­tially highly ben­e­fi­cial but if it’s done as a gen­uine ad­di­tional op­por­tu­nity to de­velop the per­son as of a wider process, then I would cer­tainly agree with it.

‘‘But we do need to make sure that it’s bal­anced with maths and sci­ence and what­ever else the stu­dents need.’’ Dr Tukuitonga said.

To gain three cred­its at level three, Pa­cific in­dige­nous knowl­edge unit stu­dents must present in­for­ma­tion on an as­pect of Pa­cific cul­ture that con­veys key in­for­ma­tion, fol­lows con­ven­tions, is un­der­stand­able and ap­pro­pri­ate to the in­tended au­di­ence and re­flects ap­pro­pri­ate cul­tural val­ues.

The author­ity de­scribes pasi­fika stu­dents as New Zealan­ders who iden­tify with, or feel they be­long to, one or more Pa­cific Is­land eth­nic­i­ties.

But it said any stu­dent, re­gard­less of eth­nic­ity, could sit the stan­dards.

Sun­day News


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