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There Are Too Many Teacher Education Groups

Nzei Says There Are Too Many Teacher Education Groups

Wellington – NZEI Te Riu Roa today told the Education and Science Select Committee that there are too many organisations involved in teacher education and there is a lack of consistency in the quality of graduates.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is the country’s largest education union with 42,000 members working as primary and early childhood teachers, as support staff in primary and secondary schools, in special education and the schools’ advisory service.

The committee is inquiring into teacher education and NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Bruce Adin, today presented the union’s submission.

“Teacher education has been left to market forces for too long leading to a mushrooming of institutions providing teacher education and a proliferation of teacher education qualifications, Mr Adin says.

“This is because the institutions tend to be driven by the need to attract students and their fees, rather than an absolute commitment to producing quality teachers.”

“There has also been a complete lack of national planning which has created a total confusion over teacher qualifications,” Mr Adin says.

“As a result the qualifications required by primary teachers is now being determined by the arbitration panel set up to solve the secondary teachers’ dispute. This has led to the situation where a teacher holding the National Diploma in Turf Management is more financially rewarded than a teacher who holds an advanced teachers qualification or a bachelor of teaching.”

“As a consequence teachers are not being valued for gaining teaching qualifications that focus on making them better teachers. By comparison some teachers will be rewarded for holding qualifications irrelevant to teaching or the curriculum,” Mr Adin says.

“The situation highlights the need for the development of an adequately funded long-term strategic plan for the primary sector. The Teachers Council is ideally placed to coordinate the development of that plan with the Government providing funding. Without such a plan, the task of ensuring quality teachers and quality education for all children is made all the more difficult.”

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