I thought this was a late April Fool’s Joke but it isn’t. Helen Clark has announced that student teachers will not be allowed to graduate unless they can pronounce Maori correctly.
I repeat this is not a joke – but a policy pledge.
We have a recruitment and retention problem with teachers, and Labour is going to make it compulsory for a mathematics teacher to have good pronounication of Maori.
Hell a lot of teachers are not that flash with their English pronounciation. Several of my university tutors were hard to understand at times as they were Asian with pronounced accents, but they were damn good tutors.
This is tokenism of the worst kind, and I think is a good reminder to all of us that all these u-turns like race based funding are cosmetic and will last until the election only.