Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei
After only a month in my role as Deputy Director Māori (Kaihautū Mātauranga Māori), I have had the pleasure of witnessing the roll-out of Ako Aotearoa's latest professional development work that is based on the report, Hei Toko i te Tukunga: Enabling Maori learner success (Hei Toko).
This Tertiary Education Commission-funded project, completed by Ako Aotearoa in mid-2015, has its principles firmly based on customer focus and continuous improvement in its acknowledgement that “good Kaupapa Māori-based education practice needs to be learner-centred, whole-of-organisation, dynamic, responsive and highly adaptive … “
Ako Aotearoa's focus on enhancing success for the Māori learner, along with its support for the Ministry of Education’s Ka Hikitia strategy, aligns with the aspirations of the proverb Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei. In a literal sense, the proverb encourages a person to persistently seek their goals – to not give up unless it be to a “lofty mountain”.
Similarly, development of the Hei Toko workshop reflects Ako Aotearoa's commitment to Māori learner success and aspirations. I attended two parallel sessions of this in-house workshop at Otago Polytechnic recently; organised by Neil Andersen of our Southern Hub and delivered by our dynamic facilitators Tama Kirikiri and Ria Tomoana.
Over the course of the day, I believe that transformational changes were taking place in the hearts and minds of the majority of participants, who spent much of the day examining their own personal and institutional processes and practices against Ako Aotearoa’s Tauākī Ako framework.
If the level of proactive engagement and verbal feedback by participants at these workshops is anything to go by, Hei Toko is a potential winner and I take this opportunity to commend the facilitators.
New project fund
For the next phase of Ako Aotearoa's work in this area, organisations that have completed the Hei Toko in-house workshop will become eligible to apply for our new co-funded Hei Toko Project Fund. The fund, due to be released shortly, is intended to encourage organisations to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing Hei Toko within their organisation. Find out more about this newly-released fund.