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Teachers needed for Hawaiian language immersion programs

By Staff | Mar 18, 2019

The story on Punana Leo o Maui this week details some of the impressive accomplishments of Maui’s Hawaiian Medium Education (HME) programs.

There are now more than 700 HME preschool through high school students on Maui, with West Maui youngsters learning in Punana Leo o Lahaina and Kula Kaiapuni programs at Lahaina Intermediate, Lahainaluna High and Princess Nahienaena Elementary School.

In these important programs, thousands of keiki across the state have learned to speak the Hawaiian language as well as culture and traditional Hawaiian knowledge.

This is a monumental change from a few decades ago, when ‘olelo Hawai’i was an endangered language among children.

With the programs growing and thriving, there is a teacher shortage in Hawaiian language/knowledge classrooms.

To help recruit and train teachers for the Kula Kaiapuni immersion program, the Office of Hawaiian Education is launching the Palapala A?o Kuikawa (Hawaiian Special Permit) initiative.

Candidates with a high school diploma and assessed as proficient in Hawaiian language can enter training to become a teacher.

The deadline to apply is March 22, so contact ?Anela Iwane at the Office of Hawaiian Education right away via e-mail at aiwane@ln.k12.hi.us.

Each year, about 40 positions are not filled in Kula Kaiapuni after the Teacher Assignment and Transfer Program.

Check out this opportunity if you are a Hawaiian language speaker interested in improving the quality of education for immersion students.