Teaching union NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes Unteach Racism

13 May 2021

NZEI Te Riu Roa is today welcoming the launch of Unteach Racism, a campaign by the Teaching Council that seeks to provide teachers with the tools to confront and dismantle racism in schools, kura, and early childhood education centres. 

"We welcome the publication of this resource for teachers. For decades now, teachers and other educators have been highlighting how systemic racism blights the lives of our tamariki, particularly those from Māori and Pasifika backgrounds," said Liam Rutherford, President of NZEI Te Riu Roa. 

"This tool is one part of the solution. At the public hearings of Pūaotanga, the independent review of staffing in primary schools, teachers and education experts consistently told the panel that schools need more resource to allow teachers to lift their heads up from the day to day of teaching in order to address systemic racism. 

"This is where we need the government to act urgently. Our teachers know the devastating impact that racism can have on tamariki and teachers are powerful agents of change, but they need time and space to really put tools like Unteach Racism into practice. 

"Lowering teacher to children ratios and providing teachers with more non-contact time would go a long way to helping teachers dismantle racism in our education system."

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