I disagree with compulsory reo in schools. I think we should take a long term approach and think about context first. Our kids need to be introduced to history, the Treaty, ethics - as a 'package' & that should be available to all primary school kids whereas language should be slowly and deliberately introduced because of folks initial resistance; which I think needs to be engaged with as opposed to being seen as racist. Its a language and its tied to a past and a culture but its all up against commonplace ignorance. The language is so important to the people (and our whakapapa) that we shouldn't just allow the bureaucratic machinery to control it in its own image. That's what making te reo compulsory does. It rips the 'soul' out of the language, the culture and our history. Ideally, in a democracy - babies from birth would just start picking up te reo as naturally as they do English or any other language. There would be no talk of compulsion; language is just there because its a good thing. Babies could get to know reo and English as a foundation in NZ and hopefully a few more languages too. How about encouragement & spending some months or a year or two putting resources into persuading the general population population first? I fear reaction from a significant portion of the population (compulsion) will backfire.
Do you like this suggestion?