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Important To Keep Pressure On Ministry Over Samoan Language

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Labour's Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su'a William Sio is welcoming what looks like an Education Ministry back-down on its plans to cease publishing the Samoan school journal Folauga.

Last week Su'a William Sio backed the call by FAGASA (Association of Teachers and Parents for the Teaching of Samoan in New Zealand) to continue publishing Folauga and the TUPU series of Samoan language reading resources, and said the ministry's decision was dictatorial.

"While any sort of reprieve is welcome, I am still worried about the Ministry's plans and objectives," Su'a William Sio said.

"Ultimately it seems clear that the Ministry's principal objective is to make sure Pasifika children are learning English.

"That won't help bilingual classes, and it certainly won't help Pasifika Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres," Su'a William Sio said.

"It seems clear that there will only be limited publications in the Samoan language in 2011.

"It is very important for Samoan students to become highly literate in the English language, but it is also very important for students to be able to connect between English and their first language," Su'a William Sio said.

Su'a William Sio urged Samoan parents and FAGASA to maintain pressure on the ministry.

"The ministry has been subjected to unexpected publicity. It is essential that Samoan people show the ministry and the National Government --- which says it supports the language but allows the ministry to take high-handed action ---- that they mean business."

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