The Associate Minister for Māori Education Kelvin Davis has announced $2.97 million in funding over three years which will see five thousand rangatahi able to access the Pūhoro kaupapa across Aotearoa.
The Pūhoro STEMM Academy has become a transformational platform for Māori secondary students providing a pathway towards tertiary careers in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Mātauranga). The Pūhoro STEMM Academy has grown to over 1000 rangatahi in 2021 and currently partners with schools in Manawatū, Christchurch, the Hawke’s Bay, South Auckland, Kāpiti and Ruapehu.
Minister Davis said through Pūhoro, the Ministry will actively strengthen rangatahi engagement and success in STEM and consciously guide their line of sight towards the diverse and vibrant opportunities that STEM capability can offer.
“Our Government is committed to improving the outcomes and experience of Māori learners and their whānau. This partnership with Pūhoro supports that commitment and will see a lift in Māori achievement in STEM areas. The programme’s results have been impressive and the impact of Pūhoro is a story of Māori educational success," Kelvin Davis says.
The Pūhoro STEM Academy was created in response to concerning statistics for rangatahi Māori NCEA achievement in the sciences and mathematics. Pūhoro works directly with secondary school rangatahi and their whānau providing students with kaupapa Māori mentoring, tutoring and the opportunity to attend hands-on science wānanga at tertiary institutes within the regions it operates, along with industry internships to help them navigate and gain experience in science career pathways and technology related industries.
Director of Pūhoro STEM Academy, Naomi Manu says through a kaupapa whānau approach to STEM education for Māori, rangatahi are reminded that STEM competency is inherent in their DNA. “They only need to look to Māori cultural narratives to be reminded of the fact that our tīpuna were engineers, experts in computational thinking, scientists and mathematicians.” She says the programme’s primary focus on identity helps rangatahi to connect better with curriculum content and has seen Pūhoro students enjoy achievement that is either on par with or exceeds that of non-Māori in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. “Pūhoro student tertiary transitions, at degree level, are 51% above national averages for Māori school leavers and the Ministry support will help accelerate change and further the rangatahi, whānau and iwi aspirations” says Ms Manu.