‘Maori should be first language’

Friday August 30, 2019 Written by Published in Education
Ministry of Education’s director learning and teaching in literacy Jane Taurarii with advisor learning and teaching Jessica Le Bas. 19082801 Ministry of Education’s director learning and teaching in literacy Jane Taurarii with advisor learning and teaching Jessica Le Bas. 19082801

Cook Islands Maori language is alive in the Pa Enua and this is being observed in the number of entries submitted for the Ministry of Education’s writing competition.

 

As literacy week will be celebrated on September 2-6, advisor learning and teaching Jessica Le Bas says this year they have received 623 entries and majority of these are from the Pa Enua.

Pukapuka alone has 72 entries.

Le Bas says when the competition had started two years ago, the Pa Enua students seemed more interested than the two main islands.

“In Mauke and Mangaia the children’s first language is in Maori, so we’re getting Pa Enua schools with wonderful submissions.”

She said this year primary schools have been included in the competition where they have to write love poems.

Le Bas, who has been traveling to the outer islands with Vae Papatua says the Te Reo Maori language is important.

“The Maori language should be the first language, if its literacy we are looking at, then we are looking at both the English and Maori language and if we are teaching writing and spelling we are also teaching in Maori.”.

The awards ceremony for the writing competition will be held on Friday September 6 where there will be prizes for five different categories each for the Maori and English language.

Judging ends this week and prizes are sponsored by Cook Islands Trading Corporation and Moana Gems.

Meanwhile, to also mark literacy week, a writer’s festival event is open to the public which will feature speakers such as Marjorie Crocombe, Mike Tavioni, Josh Baker and Cook Islands News journalist Anneka Brown.

Cook Island born writer and artist Miria George is also holding two workshops at the event.

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