Online te reo Māori a big NCEA focus

10 Mar 2020

NZQA and the University of Waikato are investigating ways to convert text to speech and provide spell check in te reo Māori, as part of offering NCEA exams online using computer devices.

Students sitting NCEA exams on a computer device may be able to hear text read aloud and check their spelling in te reo Māori following some research now underway.

“This is one of a number of trials and research projects looking at how we might deliver exams. Māori students have been early adopters of digital exams and this initiative is a large part of extending the offering,” said Andrea Gray, Deputy Chief Executive Digital Assessment Transformation.

“We have contracted the university to research digital tools of te reo Māori that could be used for text to speech and spellcheck functions. The team will look at current tools using te reo Māori and if none are suitable will explore other ways of developing such functionality.”

Deputy Chief Executive Māori, Alex Bidois, said NZQA designs its services with equity of access and outcomes in mind. 

"21st century assessment can contribute to making NCEA fairer for all by involving students in new digital ways and providing different ways for them to show what they know.”

“NZQA is designing new ways to eliminate barriers for Māori learners and providing exams digitally is one of the ways that enables Māori to reach their potential.”

Waikato’s Associate Professor of Computer Science Te Taka Keegan, who has worked on several projects  involving Māori language and technology, is leading the research work.

“We feel fortunate to be able to assist NZQA to develop these tools that will normalise te reo Māori in NCEA exams. This aligns with our research focus of enabling the propagation of te reo Māori in a technological environment.”

In another enhancement, students will be able to sit NCEA Te Reo Māori and Te Reo Rangatira subjects online using computer devices at Levels 1, 2 and 3 this year, up from Level 1 only available last year.

Students will continue to be able to request te reo Māori translations for all subjects available digitally.

What’s happening:

  • NZQA is looking at how to offer Māori language text to speech and spell check as part of developing NCEA Online.
  • Students will be able to sit NCEA Te Reo Māori and Te Reo Rangatira subjects online using computer devices at Level 1, 2 and 3 this year, up from the Level 1 available last year.
  • Students will continue to be able to request te reo Māori translations for all subjects available digitally.

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