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Pasifika Education Plan

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Started by Togi Lemanu 27 Jun 2013 6:01pm () Replies (10)

Talofa lava and warm Pasifika greeting to you all.

Hope all is well.  Out of interest I am wanting to start a discussion around the Pasifika Education plan.  

1.  Are your parents, families and communities aware of the Pasifika Education plan?

2.  Have you had a fono with your community around the Pasifika Education plan?  If so, what was the response by the Pasifika communities?

3.  What is your school doing to involve your Pasifika parents, families and communities?

Your response is most welcome on this topic of discussion.

Faafetai lava


  • Bede Gilmore (View all users posts) 01 Jul 2013 6:39pm ()

    Malo e lelei.

    We have 2 Tongan students at our school and while I have read the Pasifica Education plan and we have discussed it at a Leadership level and I have also taken part in a webinar on this topic, I wonder if anyone has any tips as to what we can do for these 2 students? A lot of the current ideas pertain to schools with large numbers of Pasifica students. Thanks for any ideas or stories you may have to share.

  • Togi Lemanu (View all users posts) 01 Jul 2013 7:01pm ()

    Talofa Bede

    Welcome and warm Pasifika greetings to you.  Building the relationship with these students and their parents, fanau would be a start for me as well as keeping them informed on what is happening with the school.


  • Bede Gilmore (View all users posts) 01 Jul 2013 10:06pm ()

    Thanks Togi. I feel we do this pretty well already. We are currently exploring ways we can further recognise their culture within our school.

  • Togi Lemanu (View all users posts) 02 Jul 2013 9:24am ()

    Talofa Bede,

    I don't know if you have looked into this TKI Pasfika website but I have put it anyway for you.  Also on Ministry of Pacific island affairs website it has the Pasifika language weeks so this could be another way to you to work with your Tongan students.

    TKI Pasifika  and  MPIA

  • Nane (View all users posts) 02 Jul 2013 3:32pm ()

    Kia orana and Malo e lelei Bede,

    I am the Pasifika Achievement Coordinator for Te Toi Tupu and in a “nutshell” the objective of my role is to support raising Pasifika achievement. First, I am impressed with your level of leadership, in that you have read the Pasifika Education Plan (PEP), discussed this at the leadership level and taken part in a webinar.

    As you may know, ERO have found in 2009, 2010 and 2012 nothing much has changed for a number of Pasifika learners despite a government focus on this and they clearly state more needs to be done which is exactly what you are doing. I have found at times it is the one or two Pasifika students in schools that do get missed out in the curriculum and it is probably more difficult to recognize this then it is with schools that have a significant number of Pasifika students.

    In terms of what to do with your Tongan students a suggested way forward is to learn about who these students are. I know this has become a bit of a cliché to say the least and is an obvious statement. However, I am adding to this thought, and keeping in mind, we are cultural beings. Your students belong to what Banks (2006) describes as micro cultural groups. For example, they are not just exceptional (as are all children), they are also male, female, have a set of abilities, Tongan, belong to a particular community, race, family, socio-economic group, have a language, a heritage, belong to other various cultural groups, eg, sports, dance group, and that each of these micro-cultural variables influence the behaviour of the individual. Do we understand there are certain perspectives and points of view and frames of reference, values and standards that are normative within each culture and microcultural groups. This is about getting to know your student. How do we then, knowing all this, start to implement focused programmes and activities that can be inclusive of everyone which is about including these students in our curriculum, and indeed, where they can see themselves not just in the curriculum but their school.

    Provide some tailored PD and utilises the community to inform/upskill staff on developing/sharing their knowledge and worldviews that include the Tongan parents. Identify similarities differences and utilise this knowledge to help shape your school curriculum.

    There also needs to be deliberate acts of teaching that strengthen/include Tongan perspectives through the classroom and school wide activities. As the senior leadership team expect to see teachers overtly valuing their Tongan worldview (the Tongan way).

    Improve the provision of information by inviting their parents to the school, form a partnership that will ensure success for their students. Ring now and then and talk about their children’s success. Talk through the National Standards and be explicit about what ERO is saying and the government and schools are trying to achieve for Pasifika learners.

    Hope this helps Bede I know it is all a bit “long-winded” but feel I had to provide the context of my thinking before I could add to the “how”.



  • Bede Gilmore (View all users posts) 02 Jul 2013 4:10pm ()

     Thanks for all that. While they may sound cliche ideas, they are ones that are important. One simple thing we did was to put up "welcome" in all the languages represented at our school - english, maori, tongan, phillipines, spanish.

    Our Tongan girls, especially the 7 year just about burst with pride and her teacher told me that for the rest of the day she was told new Tongan words by the student in her class. It was the first time we had shown that we; 1. recognise your culture, 2. know something about your culture and 3. want to know more about your culture.

    These 2 lovely girls have had older sisters through our school too. They both performed traditional dance at the annual prize giving when they left as Year 8 students.  I know we have a long way to go still in learning more about the Tongan culture. Our work continues! So thank you for taking time to message me. i've forwarded your ideas to the classroom teachers too, to keep that conversation alive at our school.

  • Maggie Flavell (View all users posts) 02 Jul 2013 8:45pm ()

    Talofa Lava

    I just wanted to add that this year, I have been working on my master's thesis looking at the reationshipa between home and school for the pasifika families at our school.  The Pasifika students are about 12% of the overall student population and their numbers are growing as more and more families choose this school because of it academic strengths. I am not finished yet but would love to share my findings when I do.  However, I am learning some interesting things.  Parents are so keen for their children to do well and encourage them to work hard.  But, as they don't know the school system very well, they find it so difficult to give constructive support.  And the students don't want to disappoint their parents, so they keep quiet about school life incase it flags up anything negative. Anyway, there's more to add later.  But I am certainly learning the importance of engaging families and teaching them about NCEA so they feel more involved.

  • Togi Lemanu (View all users posts) 03 Jul 2013 9:27am ()

    Talofa lava Maggie

    I can't wait for you to share you thesis.  It sounds interesting indeed.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  I agree with your students in not wanting to disappoint their families.  Has your school had a Pasifika parents meeting? It would be good for you to be part of this process and use some of the powerpoint information that was presented by myself and Manu at ICOT13.  Also, have you shared the NZQA information on NCEA ma le Pasifika?  This is another way you can ease the parents into being comfortable in sharing. 

  • Maggie Flavell (View all users posts) 03 Jul 2013 8:18pm ()

    Thank you, Togi.  I appreciate your encouragement. I am loving my study and learning so much.  The deputy head at my school has begun to organise parent meetings and so, you're right, I think it is important to get on board where I can and share the information you suggest.  


Join this group to contribute to discussions.

Shifting the minds of our Pasifika parents

Shifting the minds of our Pasifika parents

We look forward to hearing from you about any burning questions that you have so we can work together in order to raise the achievement of our Pasifika learners