The limited availability of Asia education is a problem for New Zealand. There are insufficient numbers of graduates that are fluent in Asian languages, familiar with Asian culture, or knowledgeable about Asia’s geography and history, resulting in a shortage of Asia-savvy professionals as well as a shortfall of cross-cultural awareness. Therefore it is important to enhance Asian languages and studies in our secondary schools.
It shall be asserted that Asia education generates positive externalities with tremendous social benefits for New Zealand society. In order to realise these benefits, more students must participate in Asia education programmes and, conversely, more Asian language and studies subjects should be made available.
Four recommendations for Government action are identified:
- Government should play a hands-on leadership role in crafting Asia education in the Curriculum and driving its proliferation.
- Raise interest and stimulate demand by using initiatives that will target parents and youth
- Stimulate supply by promoting accessibility, making available resources and training programmes for teaching staff.
- Maintain the quality of Asia education through systematic monitoring.