Leading Maori academic conducts online literacy workshop at Fort William KIHS

adapted from KORI news at http://research.knet.ca ...

A Maori academic is eager to share best practices and lessons learned from New Zealand regarding promoting adult literacy. "We’re not here to tell anyone how to do anything. We’re hear to share with Canadian First Nation and Metis communities what our communities have created to combat illiteracy," said Dr. Rongo Wetere, a professor and former CEO of New Zealand’s first Maori-controlled and operated university.

He was speaking during an on-line video conference linking six First Nations communities in Ontario’s far north on May 3 that was hosted by the Fort William First Nation KIHS classroom and coordinated by KORI. Earlier, Dr. Wetere  had a tour of the KO Research Institute to see some of the services available there.

"In New Zealand, our communities have adapted and have harnessed technology to transform the lessons learned from Cuba and Finland in teaching people to read and write."

Dr. Wetere and his team have developed a 34-week multi-media program that provides people with all of the academic tools they need for employment, college or university work.

"This approach works because it does not depend on teachers and classrooms." Rather, it focuses on families who work together in their homes with the help of a full-time community facilitator who is paid to work with all of the people enrolled in the program.

Dr. Rongo Wetere’s discussion was entitled, “Literacy Alternatives for All: the Pathway Out - The New Zealand experience.”  The core of the literacy method is based on a Cuban model where post secondary education is mandatory and free for all people to the first level.  This method has been adapted to the Maori culture and circumstance. Dr. Wetere is working with British Columbia Aboriginal peoples and is seeking First Nations partners to work with Northwestern Ontario First Nations to adapt the literacy method to the Canadian Aboriginal experience.

"Anyone can participate in the program but its really a gift from the Maori to the rest of society."

Click here to see the archived video conference of Dr. Wetere’s presentation.

Click here to see the pictures of Dr. Wetere's and Marcia Krawll's visit