Education Should Be A Reflection Of The Context

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According to the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education [MOE], 2007), education should be a reflection of the context, which caters to all students regardless of background, ability and gender to create a diverse learner that is provided with equal opportunity to succeed. However, if we reflect on the history of education, it has favored one culture over the other. Statistics is a testimony to this as it shows us 35 percent of Maori gained NCEA level 3 qualification or above in comparison to 57 percent of non-Maori who gained NCEA level 3 qualification or above (MOE, 2009). As of June 30 2012, statistics show that 51 percent of all prisoners were of Maori ethnicity (New Zealand Statistics, 2012). In 2014 it was revealed that Maori had the second highest unemployment rate (New Zealand Statistics, 2014). In order to understand the meaning of these statistics one must look at the history of New Zealand education and ask thought provoking questions such as why is there a disparity of achievement between Maori and non-Maori? What happens to those who fall through the cracks of education? How have Maori come to be ‘at risk’? This essay will attempt to answer these questions by looking at the important changes in the education system and how they affected Maori education. These influential changes include the introduction of schooling systems such as 1867 Native Schools and the establishment of the 1877 Education Act. I will then look at the effects of assimilation

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