A new opportunity to take te reo to the world has risen at the University of Waikato as the Māori Medium Education Programme, Te Maiea o te Rangi opens to school leavers and career changers with a passion for te reo Māori and teaching.
Senior Lecturer, Te Kura Toi Tangata School of Education, Dr Katarina Edmonds (Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou) says the new programmes are a chance for students to take the mana of te reo Māori to the world.
“Our students don’t just become teachers, they are like manutukutuku, who will take our culture and our language across Aotearoa and the oceans to every country on earth. Speakers of te reo find doors open to them because of their ability to understand indigenous language and culture, and because they can speak more than one language”
The Māori Medium Bachelor of Teaching, Te Ara Poutama Toitū Te Reo is a 3 year course, or students can choose to include a subject specialism in Science or Math, which includes an extra year and a half of study. Also available now is the Graduate Diploma in Teaching Māori Medium Te Ahikāroa, for those who are already working in schools and wish to upskill with a one year programme.
“We have nurtured our language through kōhanga and puna (early childhood), kura and kura kaupapa Māori (primary) to wharekura (secondary) - this is the place for all of that knowledge to find an academic and practical outcome that will allow our students and our language to fly,” says Katarina.
Classes are taught entirely in Māori, with the exception (initially) of those specialty subjects of math and science, although even here there is an opportunity to grow scientists and mathematicians who embrace te reo Māori, tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori, says Katarina.
“We at Waikato are leading the way in growing the body of mātauranga science for undergraduates – it is part of everything we do. This is an extraordinary opportunity to be part of the change that is long overdue.”
University of Waikato Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai says while teachers are desperately needed and hugely valued, students who gain a degree in Māori Medium teaching aren’t restricted to the classroom.
“There is wider value in any degree, because there are so many transferable skills that are learned through study. Those skills, delivered in te reo, are transferable worldwide.”
Katarina says the opportunity to study science, math or other subjects at the university to complement the teaching degree and the student experience through the Māori Medium programme is unique.
“Students become part of a wider whānau. This place becomes a second home to our students and while we are sad to see them go when they set out into the world, they go with our blessing and they take the mana - and the future - of our language and our culture with them.
“We, the people, come and go, but te reo Māori will remain eternal.”
Scholarships are open now for both school leavers, those returning to study and career changers wishing to become Māori medium teachers.
Te Maiea o te Rangi
Kua tuwhera ki te ao reo Māori a Te Maiea o te Rangi. He kaupapa e kawea ai te reo Māori ki ngā tōpito o te motu, me ngā tōpito o te ao e te hunga kātahi tonu nei ka mutu te kura, e rapu ara mahi hou ana rānei. He kaupapa hou hei whakangungu kaiako nā Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato. Mehemea e kohara ana koe ki te reo Māori, mōhou tēnei kaupapa.
Hei tā Tākuta Katarina Edmonds (Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou), Pūkenga Matua o Te Wānanga Toi Tangata he huarahi tēnei e kawea ai te mana o te reo, e ngā tauira ki te ao.
‘Ehara i te mea, he kaiako noa a mātou tauira. He rite rātou, ki te kōrero mō te manutukutuku, “Ka topa te manu, anō te wā ka tau.” Ka kawea e rātou tō tātou ahurea, ōna tikanga me tō tātou reo ki te ao whānui. Nā te reo Māori, ka tuwhera mai ngā tatau ki te kāinga nei a Aotearoa me te ao whānui. Te take, he Māori kōrero Māori, e mārama ana hoki ki ngā iwi taketake me ō rātou anō mauri ahurei.’
E 3 tau te tohu Te Ara Poutama Toitū Te Reo. Heoi anō, ki te whiria e ngā tauira he kaupapa motuhake Pūtaiao, Pāngarau rānei, ka roa ake te wā, ka 4-5 tau. Ko tētahi atu o ngā tohu whakaako, mā te huarahi o te reo Māori ,ko Te Ara Hou Te Ahikāroa. Ka āhei rātou kua whiwhi tohu ara poutama i tōna ritenga rānei, me te hunga e mahi ana ki ngā kura te tono mō tēnei tohu. E 2 tau te roa o tēnei.
“Kua poipoia tō tātou reo e ngā kaupapa o ngā reanga kōhungahunga pērā i ngā kōhanga reo me ngā puna, ngā kura huarahi reo Māori ki ngā kura kaupapa Māori kura tuatahi me ngā wharekura – koinei te wāhi e puta ai he oranga mahi, he oranga mātauranga e rere ai a tātou raukura pērā ki te manutukutuku,” te kōrero a Katarina.
“Ka whakaakona te katoa o ngā pepa mā te reo Māori, heoi anō, ko ngā kaupapa motuhake e riro mai ai tērā atu tohu motuhake o te pāngarau, o te pūtaiao rānei, tērā pea i te tuatahi, kāore e āhei. Engari rā, ki konei tātou whakawhanake ai i a tātou ake mātanga pūtaiao, mātanga pāngarau, rātou e pūmau ana ki te reo Māori, tikanga Māori me te mātauranga Māori,”
“Kei mua mātou, i Waikato nei, e whakawhanake ana i te mātauranga pūtaiao mō te hunga whai i te tohu ara poutama. Ko te mātauranga Māori te takinga o ngā kaupapa katoa. Me te aha, he āheinga, kua roa e tāria ana.
Hei tā Sarah Jane-Tiakiwai, Te Ihorangi Māori o Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, ahakoa te uara nui me te whakamomori kia tokomaha ake ngā kaiako reo Māori, ko ēnei tauira, ka whiwhi tohu whakaako mā te huarahi o te reo, arā noa atu i te akomanga te ao e hiahia ana i a rātou.
“He whānui te uara o te tohu ara poutama, ahakoa he aha, nā te mea he nui ngā pūkenga ka taea te whakawhiti ki kaupapa kē mai i ngā akoranga wānanga. Ko ērā i te reo Māori, ka tino whai take ki te ao whānui.”
Hei tā Katarina, he mea ahurei, te āhei kia wānanga tahitia ngā tohu o te pūtaiao, te pāngarau, otirā, kaupapa kē, mā te huarahi o te reo Māori.
“Ka noho mai te whare wānanga hei kāinga ruā mō ā mātou ākonga. Ahakoa, te pouri kia topa anō ngā manu, ka wehe rangatira atu ki te ao whānui, me te pūmau tonu o te mana, me te mauri o te reo mē ōna tikanga. Tūpono noa, wehe atu rātou ki wāhi kē, toitū tonu te reo.
E wātea mai ana ētahi karahipi mō te hunga kātahi tonu ka mutu te kura, rātou rānei e rapu ara hou ana hei kaiako whakaako mā te huarahi o te reo Māori.