Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Until the 1860s, the government subsidized church schools for the Maori. Early missionary schools were often conducted in the Maori language, which was the predominant language on the islands throughout the early part of the 1800s. By the 1860s, three-quarters of the Maori population could read in Maori and two-thirds could write in Maori. The Education Ordinance of 1847 mission schools provided funding for mission schools and required them to conduct classes in English in order receive subsidies.
The New Zealand Wars forced the closing of the mission schools.
The Native Schools Act of 1867 was a major shift in policy. Rather than helping churches to rebuild mission schools after the wars, the government offered secular state-controlled primary schools to Maori communities who petitioned for them. In return for providing a suitable site, the government provided a school, teacher, books, and materials. The use of Maori language for education was prohibited in the schools by the act.
James Henry Pope (1837–1913) was appointed the organizing inspector of Native Schools in January 1880 and he issued a Native Schools Code later in 1880 that prescribed a curriculum, established qualifications for teachers, and standardized operation for the native schools. The primary mission was to assimilate the Maori into European culture. Maori could attend board of education schools and non-Maori could attend Native Schools, although the primary purpose of the Native Schools was providing European education for the Maori. Throughout the 1900s the number of Natives Schools decreased and Maori increasingly attended board of education schools.
The Native Schools remained distinct from other New Zealand schools until 1969, when the last 108 Native Schools were transferred to the control of education boards.
- Maori Language in State Education from the Archives New Zealand
- Maori Education in New Zealand: A Historical Overview Chapter 2 of a Waitangi Tribunal Report
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