The economic and educational psychology case against making Te reo Māori compulsory in NZ schools

Utopia, you are standing in it!

The Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Davoy has called for Te Reo Māori to be compulsory in New Zealand schools. She said being bi­lingual would be “a real added advantage” to young Kiwis and more people knowing Te reo Māori would help race relations.

Learning another language is not a priority for the Pākehā children or Māori mokupuna when you consider the low level of literacy rates among New Zealand children, be they Māori, Pasifika and Pākehā.

A priority for all children in an English speaking country is to first master English. Too many children leave school with inadequate reading and writing skills. Furthermore, each child’s subject choices have the relevant to their talents and aptitudes.

Figure 1: Prose literacy by ethnicity, 2011


Source: Literacy skills of young adult New Zealanders | Education Counts.

Lower levels of literacy and numerously is much higher among Māori and Pasifika…

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