Kohanga reo 'can make a real difference'
They were described by some as delinquents, but the success of children taught at Pukeatua shows the kohanga reo movement can work wonders, a kohanga supporter says.
Speaking after a ruling from the Waitangi Tribunal yesterday, Kokiri Pukeatua Trust chairman Kuini Puketapu said the kohanga reo movement could make a real difference for children.
The tribunal found that the movement, established in the 1980s to support te reo, suffered because of funding decisions and governmental policy.
But Ms Puketapu said Pukeatua - whose early pupils included All Black Piri Weepu - had always been well supported, with a lack of understanding about kohanga reo proving to be more of a hurdle for the trust.
"I can remember back in '82 some of our elders were questioned by the media at the time saying, ‘Are you raising a generation of delinquents?'
"It was something new that people didn't really understand back then, but it's come a heck of a long way in the 30 years since."
Ms Puketapu's three children went through the kohanga reo system and were now bilingual and biliterate. "There are people with kids who have done really well through kohanga and are now young leaders in our society.
"If you are looking for the outcome of 30 years of kohanga learning, just look at how well these kids have done."
Related story: More state help wanted for kohanga reo
- © Fairfax NZ News
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