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Pacific Studies and languages added to New Zealand Curriculum

Pacific Studies will be taught via Social Sciences Photo: University of Auckland
Pacific Studies will be taught via Social Sciences Photo: University of Auckland

The Ministry of Education has announced more changes to the NCEA subjects list, with Pasifika being added to the fore.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins released the list this week, with the proposed changes set to commence between 2023 and 2025.

The Social Sciences Learning Area will incorporate the highly anticipated subject Pacific Studies, while Gagana Tokelau and Vagahau Niue will also be added to Languages Learning Area.

Education and community leaders have long been vocal in pushing for the addition of Pacific studies to the New Zealand high school curriculum.

“It would give the students in our schools an understanding of their world beyond New Zealand and other places in the Pacific,” Dr Melani Anae told NZ Herald.

The Polynesian Panther and Auckland University Associate Professor of Pacific Studies spoke about the educational changes she wanted to see happen after the Dawn Raids apology, which included making Pacific Studies a compulsory subject.

“Understanding race relations, and looking at the dawn raids as a dark side of history where there was state-sanctioned terrorism in your face in the 1970s and a call for that never to happen again.”

Melanie Webber, President of the Post Primary Teachers’ Association told Stuff she was “excited about Pacific studies and mau rākau (a form of Māori performing arts)”.

“The addition of mau rākau in the arts and Pacific studies in social sciences means that the identities, languages and cultures of ākonga (students) will be better recognised.”

Other proposed changes include Outdoor Education and Tourism, and Whaiora will be added to the Health and Physical Education Learning Area to provide access to specialised learning about Māori models of wellbeing.


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