Compulsory Te Reo Māori betrays those @nzlabour represents @jacindaardern @AndrewLittleMP

This policy of Labour of making Te Reo Māori compulsory in primary school and perhaps high school is reckless and betrays those for whom Labour claims to speak.

I must first declare a bias. I struggled to pass high school English. I never scored a single mark in a phonetics test – zero every time. I was hopeless at learning Japanese. I was wise enough to resist encouragement for my dear departed mother to enrol in French classes. I had no wish to be the class dunce in French.

The only reason I went to university was Mr. Carney in the first week of grade 7 noticed that I was in the level II classes for English and social science. As all my brothers and sisters topped the school or near enough, he assumed I was hiding my light under a bushel. He promoted me to the level III classes, which put me in the stream to matriculation colleges and therefore university.

Imagine how much I would have hated study if I was required to learn a language other than English when I was struggling terribly to learn English. I am still a bad speller. I leave it to the reader to judge my grammar. Who wants to be the class dunce in both English and French?

Requiring students of modest academic ability to acquire a 2nd language when they may not be doing well in mastering the basics is playing with their lives as though they were little toys.

Learning another language is not a priority for the Pākehā children nor Māori mokupuna when you consider the poor literacy rates among Māori, Pasifika and some Pākehā

image

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

60%of Pākehā are above the minimum level of competence to meet the prose literacy requirements of a knowledge society. This contrasts with the majority of Māori and Pasifika who are below the minimum level of competence.

Requiring children who do not have an aptitude for language or school in general to learn a language will reinforce in those who are not doing well that they are not very smart. This will give them more reasons to hate school and leave as soon as possible and never go back.

image

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

Taking student learning time away from basic literacy skills will do little for a Māori economic development. This is because this taking of student learning time away from literacy and basic education will slow the closing of income gaps between Māori and others.

The key to helping children who do not have an aptitude to succeed at school is to find subjects where they do do well so they can get a good start to life. If students are not good at academic subjects, requiring them to do more academic studies such as study a language is fool-hardy.

Learning Te Reo Māori will not help children in their other subjects. The psychology of the transfer of learning was founded 100 years ago to explore the hypothesis that learning Latin gave the student muscle to learn other subjects, both other languages and generally learn faster.

Educational psychologists found that Latin does not help much in studying other languages and other subjects. No significant differences were found in deductive and inductive reasoning or text comprehension among students with 4 years of Latin, 2 years of Latin or no Latin at all.

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