ReHUMANising our Racist Education System

In July this year the Warrior-Researchers from Kia Aroha College presented Keynote addresses at the two Rehumanising Education Conferences in Wellington and Auckland.  The conferences were organised by Dr Lynne Bowyer and Dr Deborah Stevens from the Centre for Science and Citizenship Trust and Enquiring Minds Education.  The Year 11-13 students talked about their research on the dehumanising impact of racism and poverty on their lives as Maori and Pasifika learners in our education system and in our community.

This work could not be more timely given the overwhelming evidence of racism in our education system, with recent reports showing that New Zealand has one of the most unequal education systems in the world. UNICEF’s annual Innocenti Report Card, a study of rich countries, ranked New Zealand 33rd out of 38 countries in terms of educational equality.

I have been invited to participate in The Teaching Council’s “Give Nothing to Racism” Project and in the Ministries of Education and Justice joint workshop on racism and discrimination, part of the wider Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy - so it’s good to know we ARE talking about the very real issues our Maori and Pasifika children face on a daily basis. But how do we move to beyond talking - to action, and urgent action at that? Our Warrior-Researchers will be participating in the workshop, and contributing their research to the Strategy.

The Warrior-Researchers will be presenting their research again on 28 November as Keynote speakers at the NZARE Conference, to be held this year, just down the road from the school, at the AUT South Campus.

Check out the video highlights of the Rehumanising Conference and the impact of this work. (Video credit: Chey Milne, Arataua Ltd)