Many cultures enrich
In the education system, Maori culture and te reo won’t make Maori students fully competitive. In early missionary schools old c a t = cat phonics taught Maori to read and write English.
They were so keen many ended up writing letters for uneducated Pakeha sailors and labourers who were illiterate.
Many teachers in the North did their best to give te reo a boost along with song and dance. Many did their best to pass on the stories of Kupe, Rahere and Heke asking, “How much of London could I trade for these blankets?”
Legends and stories not all parents were too familiar with.
Maori children’s heritage, very precious and something Pakeha children should have knowledge of. However, it just isn’t enough.
As well as Maori poets the brilliant British, Irish and Scottish poets. Beautiful Neapolitan songs, and an exciting traditional Russian song, a Welsh choir. The founding document of the United States. Pania of the Reef, but also tell the story of Denmark’s Little Mermaid.
Children in small groups with an expert maths teacher, away from a large class with its noise and distraction, will achieve more real understanding in 10 minutes. Simple tales of famous people from the world over. Cultures and mighty achievements of many as well as Maori.
Teachers with the skills to hold the attention of much smaller classes teaching to a well-balanced syllabus free of the restraints imposed by pencilpushers, who in their minds have succeeded once they escape the dreaded classroom.
I saw a school concert with haka and action songs. The parents were rapt. Then came along a spirited traditional Russian song. The tamariki loved performing it, but some Maori parents weren’t happy with it. That was real dumb.
We need the best of all cultures.