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Pasifika Education Plan – Policy to practice


Students in traditional dress.

This blog post takes a closer look at the Pasifika Education Plan and the Pasifika Education Implementation Plan. It offers reflective questions, ideas, stories, and resources to support and inspire schools to make a difference for all Pasifika students.

What is the Pasifika Education Plan?

The Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017 (PEP) is an education strategy aimed at raising the participation, engagement, and achievement of Pasifika learners. It is based around the notion that strengthening school learners will help to strengthen communities.

The PEP: 

  • puts Pasifika learners, their parents, families, and communities at the centre of education decisions
  • requires all educational providers to respond to the identities, languages, and cultures of each Pasifika group  
  • acknowledges the necessity of involving the wider community in raising achievement
  • will use student achievement data and information to increase the knowledge and voice of Pasifika learners, parents, families, and communities
  • aims to achieve optimum learning by promoting closer alignment and compatibility between the learner’s educational environment, and their home and/or cultural environment

PEP vision

"Five out of five Pasifika learners participating, engaging, and achieving in education, secure in their identities, languages, and cultures and contributing fully to Aotearoa New Zealand’s social, cultural, and economic well being."

Find out more about the goals, targets, and actions of the PEP

What is the Pasifika Education Implementation Plan?

Pasifika Education Implementation Plan.

The Pasifika Education Implementation Plan (PDF, 315KB) is the working document of the PEP. In it, the goals of the PEP are spelt out more clearly and in greater detail. Each initiative is described and information is given about what that initiative hopes to accomplish, how it relates to the overall plan, who is in charge of implementation, and how it will be resourced and supported.

Reflecting on Pasifika engagement at your school

Guiding questions He pātai

  • How can you ensure that the needs, values, and aspirations of your Pasifika learners and their parents, families, and communities help to influence the education decisions at your school?
  • What would be a priority focus for your school in lifting outcomes for Pasifika learners?
  • What do you know about teaching practices designed specifically to improve outcomes for Pasifika students?
  • To what extent do you implement these for your Pasifika students?

 Online communities 

There are a range of online communities in the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) that discuss and explore effective practice for Pasifika students. You can join these communities to ask questions and share ideas. 

Join the PEP conversation on Twitter:  #tkipasifika  #pasifikaeducation

School stories

The following stories describe practices that are leading to increased engagement, participation, and achievement for Pasifika students. You can adapt these ideas to suit the needs and aspirations of your students and communities.

The Taro Patch: Pasifika success at Westlake Boys’ High School
A community focus has successfully lifted achievement and integration among Pasifika students at Westlake.

What’s it all about?
This video explains the need to put Pasifika learners, their parents, families, and communities at the centre of education decisions.

Parents matter
This story describes how schools can use student achievement data and information to increase the knowledge and voice of Pasifika parents, families, and communities.

Sharing information
This film shows that closer alignment and compatibility between students' educational environment, and their home and/or cultural environment can help them achieve learning goals.

Ideas to engage your community 
This film outlines some of the approaches used by Owairaka School to encourage parent, family, fanau, and community engagement.

Pasifika Achievement Plan at Manurewa Intermediate School
This video describes how Manurewa Intermediate School is implementing aspects of the Pasifika Education plan into their own school Pasifika Achievement plan.

Find other stories that show how schools are making a difference for Pasifika learners.  

Light the fire – The power of community collaboration

Light the Fire is an Auckland based group of teachers and leaders who are passionate about Pasifika ākonga and giving Pasifika students voice and mana within their school.

Each term they meet for a celebration of learning and talanoa about 'Pasifika enjoying success as Pasifika'. Guest speakers and Pasifika students share their educational journeys.

"You can make a difference – one by one – but together we can make a TIDAL wave of difference!"

What tidal wave of difference can you make in your area? Can you build your own community of collaboration?

Join the secondary literacy mailing list to keep up with the latest Light the Fire events.

Image sourced from flickr

Supporting resources

Pasifika PowerUP
This resource is an education programme that actively supports Pasifika parents and families to champion their children’s learning, and provides academic support for secondary and primary students. This programme is delivered at PowerStations located in community settings.

Pasifika education on TKI
This TKI community provides resources, research, and other materials for teachers and school leaders working to raise Pasifika achievement.

NZC Update 27 – Tula’i mai! Making a difference to Pasifika student achievement in literacy
This NZC Update shares messages from research about classroom practices that make a difference to Pasifika student achievement in literacy. 

LEAP is a professional learning resource developed for teachers working with bilingual Pasifika students. The LEAP resource aims to bring together all the factors that research has shown can support bilingual Pasifika students’ learning.

You might like

Tapa cloth.

NZC Online offers resource pages to promote Pasifika language weeks. These resource pages can be used year round to celebrate and learn about Pasifika languages and cultures in your schools. More resource pages will be launched in September and October to celebrate language weeks for Tuvalu, Fiji, Tokelau, and Niue.  

Samoa Language Week

Cook Islands Maori Language Week

Tonga Language Week

Share your success

Do you have your own story to share about the implementation of the Pasifika Education Plan at your school? Or do you know of useful ideas and resources? We would love to hear from you. Please email us at nzcurriculum@tki.org.nz.  

community engagement
cultural diversity