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Should New Zealand history be compulsory in schools?

A leading historian has renewed calls to make New Zealand history a compulsory subject in schools. 

Vincent O'Malley says the Ministry of Education's reluctance to mandate the subject is not good enough. 

He says the current curriculum was "failing" young people. 

"Any half decent education system anywhere in the world should deliver a basic introduction to the country you live in, that you grew up in. Ours is failing to do that. A lot of young people are asking to learn about this history."

Dr O'Malley said there are historic sites scattered throughout the country, however "we lack that engagement with our history and we don't have the resources to fully understand and appreciate that history". 

"We need to acknowledge that history, not as a basis for division or argument or dispute, but it's the basis for genuine reconciliation which is founded on dialogue and understanding and engagement with our past."

Dr O'Malley has written a book as a resource to help teachers and students learn about the New Zealand Wars. 

TVNZ1's Q+A was told the Minister of Education Chris Hipkins expects New Zealand history is already taught in most schools, but did not have figures on how many schools teach the subject.

Watch the full interview here:

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Q+A talks to historian Dr Vincent O’Malley about whether the New Zealand education system is failing our children. Source: Q+A

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Q+A talks to historian Dr Vincent O’Malley about whether the New Zealand education system is failing our children. Source: Q+A