Ka­iako’s cur­ricu­lum of cul­ture

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Hills will be wel­comed onto Omaka Marae with a powhiri on Wed­nes­day, and the marae-based school will hold a dawn cer­e­mony on June 22, ahead of open­ing on July 23.

Hills said she was ‘‘very ex­cited’’ to take on the role, and had her heart set on it from the mo­ment she saw the job list­ing.

‘‘I have a vi­sion of my own, in teach­ing bilin­gual classes for chil­dren and young peo­ple. It has been very emo­tional all week, say­ing good­bye to my five classes . . . but as far as te reo goes, and my cul­ture, I can’t wait to share it,’’ Hills said.

‘‘I don’t know much about the South Is­land, but I’m very ex­cited to work with the lo­cal peo­ple and de­velop re­la­tion­ships. I’m sure we’ve got a lot of the same vi­sions.’’

Hills loved music and kapa haka, and played the gui­tar, pi­ano, ukulele, the ko¯auau and the pu¯ ta¯ tara, she said.

She would teach about 20 stu­dents in both te reo Ma¯ ori and English, with a self-di­rected learn­ing style and a Ma¯ ori world view, as a satel­lite unit of Ren­wick School.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion pro­vided $1 mil­lion in fund­ing to cre­ate the school last June, and Omaka Marae had hoped to open the school in time for term one this year.

But they strug­gled to find a ka­iako, amid calls from ed­u­ca­tion groups to ad­dress na­tion­wide short­ages of teach­ers in te reo Ma¯ ori.

Omaka Marae man­ager Ki­ley Nepia said the school would work with Hills to de­velop a cur­ricu­lum that pro­vided a cul­tural world view.

‘‘It’s about us­ing their cul­ture to teach them, and val­i­dat­ing their cul­ture . . . This al­lows our kids to be Ma¯ ori dur­ing the hours of 9am to 3pm. At the mo­ment, be­ing Ma¯ori is an ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­ity.’’

In­cor­po­rat­ing a Ma¯ ori world

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