One of the country's official languages is getting an $11 million boost to support the almost 2000 deaf children in New Zealand schools.
Education minister Hekia Parata has announced funding over the next four years would go towards sign language programmes, including First Signs - a programme that involves facilitators working with the families of newly identified deaf children.
There would also be more support provided for schools including extra sign language tutors.
There are currently about 400 deaf children under 5 years old and another 1400 children aged between 5 and 18 years old.
An advisory group including Deaf Aotearoa, members of the deaf community, deaf educators and other principals and board of trustee members worked alongside the Ministry of Education to target the funding.
"For most students this will be the first time they have had regular access to sign language tutors,'' Parata said.
"It will also help teachers and teacher's aides improve their sign language skills and provide more support to deaf students in the classroom.''
The investment is designed to "encourage a more bilingual New Zealand'' and support deaf students to "attain the same levels of educational achievement as their peers'', Parata said.
Some of the funding would also be used to develop more learning resources for deaf children, both in the classroom and online.
- The Dominion Post
Which Wellington cafe most deserves to win NZ Cafe of the Year?
View obituaries from around the region.
View marriage and birth notices from around the region.
• Reporters: News, Business, Sport, Features
• Newsroom 0800 366 7678
• Website ideas: Email or tweet us
• Place an ad: Email or call 04 474 0000
• Subscribe: Email or call 0800 50 50 90
• No paper: Call 0800 50 50 90
• Start or stop your paper
• View the Digital Edition
• Make dompost.co.nz your homepage