Te Wananga o Aotearoa is cutting short its Te Ara Reo Maori programme at Te Whare Oranga in Parakai, leaving dozens of eager language students high and dry.
The Maori language programme will no longer offer Level 5 tuition at Parakai, as originally promised. The move follows a damning review released by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority coupled with a forecast deficit.
The Māori education provider has been downgraded from category 1 to category 3 in its external evaluation and review, giving it a "not yet confident" judgment in its educational performance and organisational capability in self-assessment.
The downgrade means that local residents who have been studying Te Ara Reo Maori at Te Whare Oranga o Parakai for the past two years have had their course cut short. A small number of spaces are available at the Te Wananga campus in Henderson. The Parakai students group has written to Te Wananga asking it to reconsider its decision but has not received a reply.
Parakai Students Group spokesman, Peter Boyes explains: `Many of us undertook this pathway because the tuition is delivered locally and it would be impracticable for some and impossible for others to undertake study an hour or more away, even if that were available for sufficient numbers to progress. We are deeply disappointed to discover that, having spent two years discovering Te Reo, that Te Wananga will not now offer further studies in our community and that the chances of our being able to develop any depth of understanding have been made practically impossible.
`While further education can never be regarded as a waste of time, we do believe that many of us would not have undertaken this course of study had we known it would be truncated in such a way.
We cannot begin to express how frustrating this is, not just for us but our local iwi and communities, all of whom would dearly love to see Te Reo Maori flourish alongside the Kaipara.’