$2.2 million funding boost for innovative teachers

Nikki Kaye visited early childhood education centre A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated in Auckland on Friday to announce a ...

Nikki Kaye visited early childhood education centre A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated in Auckland on Friday to announce a $61,000 funding grant.

Auckland teachers will be able to tap into a $2.2 million grant to pursue innovative learning practices.

The Government last week announced it will distribute $2.2 million across 33 schools nationwide over the next three years through its teacher-led innovation fund (TLIF).

Sixteen of those schools are in Auckland and five are in central Auckland including Arahoe School, A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated, Stonefields School, St Joseph's School and St Paul's College Ponsonby.

The TLIF supports teachers who develop new and innovative practices that improve learning outcomes.

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Education Minister Nikki Kaye said TLIF supported projects that engaged students who were Maori, Pasifika, had special education needs, or came from low socio-economic backgrounds.

During a visit to early childhood education centre A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated on Friday, Kaye announced the school would receive $61,000 to develop a Samoan language app.

Manager of A'oga Fa'a Samoa Jan Taouma said from an early childhood perspective there was a lack of Pasifika educational resources. 

"We do not want to see Samoan children at the bottom of the statistics all the time - we want to see them thrive and we believe this initiative will help them do so," she said. 

Kaye said she was delighted A'oga Fa'a Samoa would use digital technologies to support second language learning. 

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"Teachers are tapping into the technologies that children and young people use in their daily lives to make learning relevant and exciting," she said. 

"TLIF is also about ensuring that our teaching and learning practices are modern, relevant and future focused, taking the best from new methods being tried internationally alongside testing totally new Kiwi ideas."

Kaye acknowledged parents had concerns about children under five-years-old spending time online. 

"But New Zealand's curriculum needs to keep pace with this fast-changing world and we can't have these children entering primary school and having no experience with technology," Kaye said. 

This is the third round of funding from an $18 million TLIF budget from 2015 to 2020. It is the first time teachers from early learning services have been able to apply for funding.

So far 85 projects have already been funded through TLIF.

The next funding round opens in November 2017.

 - Stuff

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