Tutors in course probe quit

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 16/07/2014

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Five Witt tutors suspended earlier this month during investigations into a performing arts course have resigned.

The Taranaki Daily News understands Witt staff were informed of the resignations on Monday. The five staff include three Maori performing arts tutors and two staff from its Te Wananga Maori department.

A memo obtained by the Daily News earlier this month showed that the staff were suspended pending the outcome of the investigation into its National Certificate in Maori Performing Arts (Level 4) course.

Witt chief executive Barbara George would not comment on the resignations, saying it was an employment matter.

Daily News understands temporary management have been put into its Te Wananga Maori department and it is business as usual for students when the term reopens on Monday.

Last month, the Daily News revealed the course had come under scrutiny after a complaint was laid in mid-May, alleging students had graduated without completing the required course work.

The Daily News understands the complaint had come from one of the 222 students enrolled in the 2012 programme.

Witt's 2014 handbook says the qualification is designed to "increase knowledge in the area of Maori performing arts". The year-long open entry course can be studied fulltime or part-time.

Witt has engaged an external auditor to investigate the claims. The investigation is focused on only one class of one programme in its Maori department.

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