The Ministry of Education is about to implement a programme to radically change our education system. True to the doctrine of a Treaty partnership, the Ministry has been working with Māori academics and educationalists to design a blueprint for a ‘transformative shift’ in the education of our children and grandchildren.
The resulting programme, branded Te Hurihanganui, is currently embarking upon a scheme to ‘decolonise’ the education system - with plans in place to create a structural and cultural shift across early childhood education, schools and the tertiary sector. This change is dominated by the intention to create a system based on a Māori world view, prioritizing the values and philosophy, culture, and interests of Māori society.
Te Hurihanganui intends to “build critical consciousness to support a structural shift in the education system”. The initial stage will focus on supporting 'positional, change and thought leaders’. "Leaders will test models of good practice and apply critical consciousness and kaupapa Māori to disrupt the status quo and affect change".
The text explains:
“Building critical consciousness means reflecting critically on the imbalance of power and resources in society, and taking anti-oppressive action to do something about it for the better. It means recognising white privilege, understanding racism, inequity faced by Māori and disrupting that status quo to strengthen equity”.
An advertisement seeking a Work Team Partner to work with the Ministry of Education in implementing Te Hurihanganui explains this intention further:
“Realising the aspirations of Te Hurihanganui will require transformative changes at both a cultural and structural level. This involves:
• A cultural shift, that is, a kaupapa Māori relational approach that indigenises the education system; and
• A structural shift that is grounded in critical consciousness that decolonises the education system”.
From darkness into the light
“We will work alongside communities to support their journey from Te Pō to Te Hurihanganui”.
Te Hurihanganui Change Story describes our education system as Te Pō*, explained in the document as a time of unease around existing in darkness, which is to be overcome by Te Hurihanganui – “an act of love to ease the pain of Ranginui and Papatūānuku, but also to maintain the light of Te Ao Mārama”.
*Te Pō is commonly translated as ‘the underworld’.
The programme is due to be rolled out this month, (October 2020), initially involving six communities across the country. These communities will receive support, resources, and tools to build critical consciousness and strengthen kaupapa Māori in education, with a budget of $42M over three years.
Te Hurihanganui Change Story: https://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/MOE19434-Te-Hurihunganui-Change-Story-4.pdf
What is Te Hurihanganui? https://poutamapounamu.org.nz/news/2020/what-is-te-hurihanganui
For further information about this programme, contact: [email protected]