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TWoA YG Tutors with their students

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa mentors are steering High School tauira away from dropping out and towards NCEA and greater success.

The National Mentoring Service is a Ministry of Education-funded initiative that is supporting Māori and Pasifika tauira in years 11 to 13 to help them gain NCEA certification.

The initiative is happening at selected schools in Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Whanganui/Manawatu and Christchurch.

The service is aimed at Māori and Pasifika in years 11,12 and 13 who are unlikely to pass NCEA on their own, providing them with academic and pastoral support where it is needed.

The mentors tailor their service to the tauira needs, local resources and circumstances and work alongside their whānau, schools and communities to support their NCEA achievement.

Te Aukaha Tangata and the initiative’s former TWoA project manager Joe Graham said the mentors, many of whom are trained teachers or have had experience with Careers New Zealand, had forged strong relationships with kaimahi and tauira at the different schools.

He said the results after a year were very pleasing.

“We were set a success rate of 75 per cent across all levels for NCEA by the Ministry of Education but we achieved 80 per cent-plus across all of these levels,” he said.

“The principal of Taradale High School told me that without our mentors the 80 per cent-plus at his school would have been more in the vicinity of 25 per cent so this is an awesome achievement by our mentors.” 

Joe said the tauira involved appreciated having mentors helping them to negotiate through what would otherwise have been lonely and difficult circumstances.

It is hoped that the success of the programme could lead to a renewal of the annual contract with the Ministry of Education and more schools coming under its umbrella.

Director Innovation and Development Tony Dowling said the contract represented significant opportunities for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA).

“It provides an opportunity for TWoA to deliver a far more comprehensive rangatahi support service than it currently provides, and in doing so it will better support rangatahi to realise their dreams and aspirations,” he said.

“The contract also provides TWoA with the opportunity to deliver highly comprehensive services that support tauira, Māori and all of Aotearoa.”

 “The success of the application itself clearly signals the belief and confidence that MoE and other stakeholders have in TWoA, its capabilities and people.”

Statistics from NZQA show that Māori and Pasifika pass rates at NCEA level 1 have improved dramatically over the past 10 years.

In 2004, the pass rates for Māori and Pasifika were 44 and 37 per cent respectively.

The most recent statistics from 2014 show Māori pass rates are now at 74 per cent and Pasifika at 71 per cent.

Despite the improvement, it could take more than a decade for Māori and Pasifika tauira to reach parity with their Pākeha counterparts.

Tony said TWoA was initially awarded a contract to deliver Ministry of Education mentoring services in early 2014.

At that time, the Ministry had received 88 submissions for service delivery but only 14 were successful with TWoA being given 25 per cent of the overall tauira numbers and budget.

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