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The Manaiakalani Programme
Living Local, Learning Global

Manaiakalani is an education programme that is achieving significant improvement in student achievement outcomes for nine decile 1A schools in the Auckland suburbs of Glen Innes, Pt England and Panmure. This is Auckland’s oldest State Housing community, and 95 per cent of students are Maori and Pasifika. By offering students full digital citizenship, the Manaiakalani Programme is not only achieving improved educational results, but also realising the potential for greatly enhanced employment and life outcomes for these students.

The research to date shows that this improvement is supported by :

  • an effective blended eLearning pedagogy that is materially changing the school experience of students from years 1 to 13

  • affordability of 1 : 1 digital devices for all students from years 5 to 13

  • provision of fast internet to all students to enable any time, any place, any pace learning

The Manaiakalani Programme began life as an EHSAS cluster in 2007, and evolved into an ICT PD cluster in 2010, funded solely by the Ministry of Education and Cluster schools. Its goals are to

  • raise student achievement outcomes
  • develop personal voice
  • develop authentic audience
  • deliver 21st Century Education to 21st Century Learners
  • have students who are confident, connected, actively involved life-long learners  
  • develop the employable skill level of its student population

The Manaiakalani Education Trust was set up in February 2011 to be in service of the schools to help them achieve the goals of the Programme by providing access to external resources and networks. The Trust has enabled the Manaiakalani schools cluster to achieve things it otherwise would not have been able to. They needed an entity that could :

  • own a community wide wireless learning network

  • develop an affordable method to enable parents to purchase netbooks for their children

  • hold the liability for student/whanau netbook credit contracts

  • supply back-end financial systems

  • supply end-to-end technical support

  • supply whanau/aiga training and capacity-building

  • provide professional development and research above that being paid by vote education

With the exception of the completion of the wireless Tamaki Learning Network (currently 25% built), all these systems and processes are set up and working (June 2012).

The programme now has close to 1500 students each with their own netbook, which is being gradually paid off by parents at around $15 per month. Since the Programme’s instigation in 2007, it has resulted in significant increases to literacy and numeracy performance, as well as a significant lift in on-task behaviour in the classroom. Results to date include :

  • accelerated acquisition of English and Mathematics at an average rate of 1 .5 educational years per calendar year, in comparison with a “normal” New Zealand rate of 1 education year per 1 calendar year. In effect, students are learning at a base rate of 1.5 times the normal rate. In some cases, as displayed in the chart below, the annual “shift” is far more significant.

  • an evidence-based shrinking of the tail of underachievement.

  • increased attendance levels, reduced truancy rates and a sharp improvement in on-task behaviour as students are much more engaged

Teachers raise their students’ capability in reading, writing, thinking, listening and speaking, supporting students in publishing their digital work locally, nationally and internationally using web 2 technology. This is underpinned by the overriding approach of Learn, Create , Share.

Parent and whanau engagement is being supported and grown through a programme that trains parents to also use netbooks, the internet and the purpose-built parent portal. This application enables parents to electronically access their children’s published work and to better understand how new teaching methods and technology are improving student engagement and achievement.   

The success of this Programme has come in large measure from the ability to coalesce a new kind of partnership around the aspirations for success for our children.  This partnership includes schools, government departments, community, parents, whanau, commerce, philanthropy, tertiary institutions and volunteers, all of whom buy in to the vision and intent for improved student outcomes.