Minpacalumni's Weblog

Weblog for former staff of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs in New Zealand

Decision to axe Samoan publication ‘dictatorial’

Posted by Sai Lealea on October 14, 2010

by <a href="“>Sua William Sio on Thursday, October 14

Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio is describing the Education Ministry’s plans to cease publishing the Samoan school journal Folauga as dictatorial.

Su’a William Sio is backing the call by FAGASA (Association of Teachers and Parents for the Teaching of Samoan in New Zealand) to continue publishing Folauga and the TUPU series of Samoan language reading resources.

This year Su’a William Sio moved a motion, supported by all parties, in Parliament to recognise Samoan Language Week.

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“I am aghast at the Ministry’s high-handed decision to cease publishing these resources,” Su’a William Sio said today. “Where is the evidence to support this sort of dictatorial decision-making? “No wonder some Samoan people now already see the Government’s apparent support for my motion, followed so quickly by the Ministry’s decision to axe resources, as an example of deceptive and misleading politicking,” Su’a William Sio said.

“If the Government hypocritically supports the language on one hand, and then withdraws funding with the other, it is just another example of National treating Pacific groups with disdain. “The evidence is that children who are bi-lingual or multi-lingual have a strong academic advantage,” Su’a William Sio said. “The Government’s decision is reminiscent of the days when Pacific and Maori people were forced to speak English.

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“The axing of these resources is offensive to all of us who believe we should be embracing diversity of cultures, ethnicities and languages as a real strength of New Zealand.”

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