EDUCATION

Toi Ohomai's New Course to Open Right Doors

Tuesday 20 November 2018, 1:07PM
By Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
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BAY OF PLENTY

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is launching new courses aimed at ensuring high school students, who speak and learn in te reo Māori, have the right achievement standards to get into degree level programmes.

The Tikanga Hauora and Oranga Tangata courses are the brainchild of Health Manager Maria Ngawati and she says it is the first time a programme, based in te reo Māori in a subject area outside of Māori language, will be delivered to National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2 and 3 students.

Open to students still at school, the course will be targeted at those in kura kaupapa. Maria says it will also be available to those in mainstream schools, but a main focus is to provide a pathway for students who speak and learn in te reo Māori.

She says the goal is for students to gain achievement standards that will help them access degree level programmes, particularly in the areas of health, education and social services. 

“This is not replacing what kura do, this is helping them with their resources. Usually what happens is that we take these sorts of credits off the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) framework in English and our kura translate them into Māori.

“The nature of NCEA is that it means there are sometimes limited options available, depending on your school or kura. So, our kura kaupapa kids pass Level 3 at NCEA but they often don’t have the right kinds of credits to unlock the right doors at degree-level study, in the career they want to follow.”

With a lack of Māori with qualifications and expertise in the health, education and social services field, Maria says she wanted to do something to change this.

So she took the Student Tertiary Partnerships programme within Toi Ohomai’s Education, Health and Social Services Faculty and revamped them, using Te Marautanga o Aotearoa NCEA credits to develop a new programme. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is the companion to the New Zealand curriculum and guides the delivery of teaching to Māori-medium and bi-lingual students.

Maria says the new courses will make it easier for students to gain access to Toi Ohomai education, health and social services degree programmes and, eventually, produce more qualified professionals in these areas.

Under the new programme, students will gain 20 units at NCEA level 2 and 31 at level 3 from a range of areas included in NZQA’s University Entrance approved subjects list.

The Tikanga Hauora course, which will be delivered to level 2 students, is set to be rolled out in February. The level 3 course, Oranga Tangata, will begin in 2019 if the demand is large enough.

Maria says she is hopeful that if the programme is successful within the Education, Health and Social Services Faculty, then others in Toi Ohomai will pick it up and adapt it to suit their needs.

“It is having this ripple affect everywhere but the main thing is that the kids don’t have to change who they are.”

Maria says she is looking forward to the high school students being on campus.

“I can’t wait for these kids to come here and blow everyone out of the water with what they know. These kids, at 16, already know so much more about our world than we do.”

The courses will be available at Toi Ohomai's campuses in Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatāne.