Sexual health programmes for kura kaupapa Māori

Aim of project

Since 2015, this project has built relationships with kura kaupapa Māori to develop programmes and produce classroom and community resources that draw upon upon historical and contemporary Māori understandings of sexual and reproductive health. The programme aims to improve rangatahi Māori knowledge of good sexual and reproductive health, foster Māori identity, language and culture, and promote Māori student success.

Background

In 2013, a Ministry of Education report highlighted the important relationship that exists between education approaches that foster Māori identity, language and culture, and Māori student success (Ministry of Education. 2013. Supporting education success as Māori: Information for school boards of trustees. Wellington: Ministry of Education).

As well, evidence-based and culturally appropriate comprehensive school-based sexuality education is an effective approach to improving rangatahi sexual and reproductive health (Education Review Office, 2007).

The Kura Kaupapa Māori Project has been gone through two phases so far.

Phase 1 – Relationship-building with Kura Kaupapa Māori

Activities during this phase involved developing a comprehensive project plan in which a sexuality education needs analysis was undertaken with two Māori-medium schools in the Waikato, and then producing evidence-based resources based on the identified needs.  Networking, promoting the project, and strengthening the knowledge base of Te Whāriki Takapou to inform future work.

As the project progressed the plan took a necessary-developmental approach focusing on building relationships with kura kaupapa Māori. This approach has been essential to working collaboratively to design a sexuality education programme which is responsive to the needs of the kura kaupapa Māori, and follows the Pōhiri approach as outlined in our resource, Mana Tangata Whenua: National Guidelines for Sexual and Reproductive Health Promotion with Māori.

Phase 2 – Developing a sexuality education programme with Kura Kaupapa Māori

Having established collaborative working relationships with two kura kaupapa Māori, the next phase was to design, implement and evaluate a sexuality education programme for years 7 and 8 students, followed by a priority resource, by drawing upon historical and contemporary Māori understandings of sexual and reproductive health.

In the short term, the programme and resource was approved by identified schools and whānau, so their rangatahi knowledge of sexual and reproductive health will increase.

After delivery and evaluation of the programme, consideration and recommendations were given for how the programme could be modified to a format that could be made available to other kura through our website.