Skip Content

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has cemented its relationship further with the Department of Corrections following the launch of a new literacy and numeracy service for prison learners.
 
Minister of Corrections Peseta Sam Lotu Iiga and Te Taiurungi Jim Mather were among a gathering yesterday at Arohata Womens Prison in Tawa, Wellington to launch the new programme which will run in each of New Zealand’s 16 public prisons.
 
The Intensive Literacy and Numeracy Service (INLS) is the second agreement Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has entered into this year with the Department of Corrections following the signing of Te Waharoa, which runs in the department’s five Māori focus units, in April.
 
INLS targets 3,600 learners in the mainstream prison population to support prisoners - both male and female - who are struggling with reading, writing and numeracy.
 
It involves tutors delivering a total of 60,000 hours of learning and will see prisoners undertake an average of 100 hours learning time over a five to 20-week period.
 
The three-year contract will be measured by learner movement from step 1 and 2 to step 3 or above on the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Progressions.
 
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will also work with Corrections staff to help build each prison’s capability to better support the literacy and numeracy needs of prisoners.
 
This will be achieved through advising sites on best practice and raising the awareness of literacy and numeracy in prisons.
 
Research shows that participation in education and employment can significantly reduce the risk of re-offending following release from prison.
 
A recent survey of New Zealand employers also found that literacy and numeracy are ranked in the top three skills that employers look for in prospective employees.
 
Educational achievement is also important in enabling offenders to fully participate and benefit from other rehabilitative programmes.
 
Project Sponsor Tony Dowling said Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has been committed to assisting those whose needs have not been met by the mainstream education system.
 
“The demographics and service expectations of ILNS align directly with those targeted by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa hence this collaboration offers a natural fit that will deliver powerful, transformative education.”
 
“Many prisoners lack the necessary literacy and numeracy skills, qualifications and work experience to provide for their families, or find and keep  rewarding employment post-release.”
 
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in partnership with the Department of Corrections is committed to providing an increased level of literacy and numeracy education and employment training for offenders including Māori.
 
As a result it is expected more prisoners will have the skills and experience to gain and maintain sustainable meaningful employment and progress into higher-level qualifications.
 
Providing everyday skills so prisoners upon release can participate fully in everyday life is what ILNS is about.

 Back to news & events

Published On: 19 October 2015

Article By: James Ihaka



Other Articles

  • 05 May 2021

    Kalo’s catching her dreams

    The first year after a car crash which left her in a wheelchair was tough for Kalolaine Manako. She enrolled in the Level 4 Manaaki Tangata Certificate in Bicultural Social Services programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. And it’s changed her life.

  • 04 May 2021

    Learning te reo helps Ellen find her place

    Ellen Hall started learning te reo Māori to support her family but has found she is now on her own journey of self-discovery. “This is my third year of study. I initially came to support my husband - he’s Māori - but he works shift work so it’s been too hard for him to keep going at this stage,” she says. “But it’s a real community and you become very much a part of it and feel welcome. I’ve got two kids so it’s really important to both of us that they can learn te reo. That’s kind of what drew me and then it becomes part of your own journey. You’re doing it for them but it becomes about yourself too. “I’m Pākehā but it’s important for me to learn the language for me,” she says. “And it’s also the privilege of learning it because it is such a beautiful language. I think no matter what your ethnicity, when you go through the journey of learning te reo you learn about te Ao Māori and you learn about yourself.” Ellen is enrolled in the Level 5 Te Rōnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi programme at the Ngāmotu campus of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and says te reo wasn’t something she grew up with. “I grew up in Egmont Village and it just wasn’t part of life, it wasn’t something I was familiar with,” she says. “I think part of the journey has been learning what my place is in learning te reo Māori and I think there is a place for Pākehā to learn te reo Māori and being able to awhi and tautoko to tangata whenua. I think it can only be a good thing, to be supportive and be included in that journey.” She says learning te reo has changed the way she views the world. “It’s very humbling to learn this language and I feel more compassionate, I guess. You’ve got to be compassionate to yourself when you learn something new and when it’s hard. But the support and awhi you get from your other tauira and your kaiako and just how much they’ve embraced me makes me feel really part of it.” That feeling of whanaungatanga is an important part of learning at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Ellen says it’s made her language journey much easier. “You’re always apprehensive about the unknown, like you don’t know anyone, but I’ve only ever been welcomed and when I come here, sometimes it’s such a mish. You’ve got two kids and you’re trying to get them everywhere but then you come here and when we do karakia and waiata, it’s such a special time, I love it,” she says. “You come to this place and when you come in here, that’s the kaupapa and the people here are so supportive.” That support applies to all students and Ellen says anyone contemplating learning te reo should go for it. “I think its building momentum and in five years’ time hopefully there are more options for people to learn te reo, but just be open to learning and prepared to be humbled. Just have faith and keep coming and keep learning. I’m pushing myself to keep going so it’s haere tonu, haere tonu.”

  • 03 May 2021

    Tikanga - A window into te ao Māori

    Te Whāinga o Te Ao Tikanga offers people a window “to look in to Te Ao Māori” (The Māori World). The 20-week programme is open to anyone wanting the tools to not only better engage with tangata whenua (people of the land) but to understand the makeup of the community they work and live in.

  • 22 April 2021

    Adult teaching not just for teachers

    When it comes to teaching, Sheryl Waru knows more than most, and there’s nothing she loves more than passing on her knowledge to others.