Today marks the first celebration for Pacific Language Weeks 2022 with Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta – Rotuman Language Week.
Sustainability is the theme for 2022, which aligns to the UNESCO’s International Decade of Indigenous Languages, recognising the right to preserve, revitalise and promote languages.
“We have a responsibility as good Pacific neighbours and relatives in ensuring the protection and survival of Pasifika languages, especially those languages that are endangered or vulnerable. It is also right that those with the language and cultural competency be the ones to teach the language, and who better to teach it than our own people from across the Pacific,” says Teanau Tuiono, Green spokesperson for Pasifika peoples.
“It is time for the Government to see Aotearoa as part of a wider whānau of Pacific nations and commit to doing more for our Pasifika languages.”
The Green Party is calling on the Government to act now to:
- amend the Teaching Council Criteria of measuring Pacific Teaching qualifications to allow bilingual Pasifika teachers employment opportunities in Aotearoa.
- ensure adequate funding is provided and available for Early Childhood Education Bilingual Units, teaching and learning resources and curriculum support.
“Recognition of the various Pasifika ‘Language Weeks’ encourages communities to celebrate our Pasifika identity through our languages and culture. But we know that our cultures and languages can’t be defined or confined by just one week. Language and culture helps to build an educational foundation supporting the identities of Pasifika learners here in Aotearoa.
“As someone who has previously worked in the education sector I know that the needs of communities working on language revitalisation initiatives must be matched by resourcing and commitment.
“This would be a significant way to reciprocate the commitment and dedication our communities have given to Aotearoa.”