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Relationships and Sexuality Education Programmes for Māori Medium Schools

Aim of project

Since 2015, this project has involved us collaborating with Māori medium schools to produce programmes and classroom and community resources that meet their needs for teaching and learning Relationships and Sexuality Education. Drawing upon pre-colonial Māori understandings of relationships and sexuality, our work aims to: improve rangatahi Māori knowledge of healthy relationships and good sexual and reproductive health; foster Māori identity, te reo Māori and tikanga Māori; and promote Māori student success.

Māori medium schools play an important role in the revitalisation of Māori language and cultural values and practices (Ministry of Education, 2013. Tau Mai Te Reo: The Māori Language in Education Strategy, 2013-2017. Wellington: Ministry of Education). Furthermore, education approaches that foster Māori identity, language and culture play a critical role in Māori student success (Ministry of Education. 2013. Supporting education success as Māori: Information for school boards of trustees. Wellington: Ministry of Education). Despite this, very few resources exist to assist and support Māori medium teachers and students, including Relationships and Sexuality Education resources.

A 2007 report by the Education Review Office highlighted that comprehensive school-based relationships and sexuality education that is evidence-based and culturally appropriate, is an effective approach to improving rangatahi sexual and reproductive health.

The Māori Medium Schools Project was formulated to address the lack of appropriate resources to assist teachers in Māori medium settings to teach, and their students to learn about, healthy relationships and good sexual and reproductive health, from a Māori worldview perspective and through the medium of te reo Māori.